American Colonies Quotes

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As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. [Adams submitted and signed the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797]
John Adams (Thoughts On Government Applicable To The Present State Of The American Colonies.: Philadelphia, Printed By John Dunlap, M,Dcc,Lxxxvi)
While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice our local destination. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world.
John Adams (Thoughts On Government Applicable To The Present State Of The American Colonies.: Philadelphia, Printed By John Dunlap, M,Dcc,Lxxxvi)
Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shore, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it. Our children are still taught to respect the violence which reduced a red-skinned people of an earlier culture into a few fragmented groups herded into impoverished reservations.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The history of the United States is a history of settler colonialism—the founding of a state based on the ideology of white supremacy, the widespread practice of African slavery, and a policy of genocide and land theft.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
As life runs on, the road grows strange With faces new, and near the end The milestones into headstones change, ’Neath every one a friend.
James Russell Lowell (Anthology of American Literature, Volume 1: Colonial through Romantic)
Though many non-Native Americans have learned very little about us, over time we have had to learn everything about them. We watch their films, read their literature, worship in their churches, and attend their schools. Every third-grade student in the United States is presented with the concept of Europeans discovering America as a "New World" with fertile soil, abundant gifts of nature, and glorious mountains and rivers. Only the most enlightened teachers will explain that this world certainly wasn't new to the millions of indigenous people who already lived here when Columbus arrived.
Wilma Mankiller (Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women)
Americans lack any deeper appreciation of class. Beyond white anger and ignorance is a far more complicated history of class identity that dates back to America’s colonial period and British notions of poverty.
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
So, it was done, the break was made, in words at least: on July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, the American colonies declared independence. If not all thirteen clocks had struck as one, twelve had, and with the other silent, the effect was the same. It was John Adams, more than anyone, who had made it happen. Further, he seems to have understood more clearly than any what a momentous day it was and in the privacy of two long letters to Abigail, he poured out his feelings as did no one else: The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.
David McCullough (John Adams)
The space between the idea of something and its reality is always wide and deep and dark. The longer they are kept apart—idea of thing, reality of thing—the wider the width, the deeper the depth, the thicker and darker the darkness.
Jamaica Kincaid (The Best American Essays 1995)
A story that must be told never forgives silence.
Okey Ndibe (Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American)
Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.' But it is hardly strange. Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind. We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen. Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty. I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it. Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution. Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine. ...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession. In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
Only one fear was greater than the fear of black rebellion in the new American colonies.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Physicians, patients, and ethicists must also understand that acknowledging abuse and encouraging African Americans to participate in research are compatible goals. History and today's deplorable African American health profile tell us clearly that black Americans need both more research and more vigilance.
Harriet A. Washington (Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present)
O Time the fatal wrack of mortal things, That draws oblivion's curtains over kings; Their sumptuous monuments, men know them not, Their names without a record are forgot, Their parts, their ports, their pomps all laid in th' dust Nor wit nor gold, nor buildings scape time's rust; But he whose name is graved in the white stone Shall last and shine when all of these are gone.
Anne Bradstreet
In a society where people are obsessed with personal space, dogs have come to serve as welcome, neo-human mediators of loneliness and solitude.
Okey Ndibe (Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American)
Language itself is so value-laden as to render value-neutrality almost impossible. Growing up in England I was introduced to the American Revolution by a 'footnote' to colonial history about the 'revolt' of the American colonies. Word choice and the organization of material gave the game away.
Arthur F. Holmes (The Idea of a Christian College)
I have always been interested in this man. My father had a set of Tom Paine's books on the shelf at home. I must have opened the covers about the time I was 13. And I can still remember the flash of enlightenment which shone from his pages. It was a revelation, indeed, to encounter his views on political and religious matters, so different from the views of many people around us. Of course I did not understand him very well, but his sincerity and ardor made an impression upon me that nothing has ever served to lessen. I have heard it said that Paine borrowed from Montesquieu and Rousseau. Maybe he had read them both and learned something from each. I do not know. But I doubt that Paine ever borrowed a line from any man... Many a person who could not comprehend Rousseau, and would be puzzled by Montesquieu, could understand Paine as an open book. He wrote with a clarity, a sharpness of outline and exactness of speech that even a schoolboy should be able to grasp. There is nothing false, little that is subtle, and an impressive lack of the negative in Paine. He literally cried to his reader for a comprehending hour, and then filled that hour with such sagacious reasoning as we find surpassed nowhere else in American letters - seldom in any school of writing. Paine would have been the last to look upon himself as a man of letters. Liberty was the dear companion of his heart; truth in all things his object. ...we, perhaps, remember him best for his declaration: 'The world is my country; to do good my religion.' Again we see the spontaneous genius at work in 'The Rights of Man', and that genius busy at his favorite task - liberty. Written hurriedly and in the heat of controversy, 'The Rights of Man' yet compares favorably with classical models, and in some places rises to vaulting heights. Its appearance outmatched events attending Burke's effort in his 'Reflections'. Instantly the English public caught hold of this new contribution. It was more than a defense of liberty; it was a world declaration of what Paine had declared before in the Colonies. His reasoning was so cogent, his command of the subject so broad, that his legion of enemies found it hard to answer him. 'Tom Paine is quite right,' said Pitt, the Prime Minister, 'but if I were to encourage his views we should have a bloody revolution.' Here we see the progressive quality of Paine's genius at its best. 'The Rights of Man' amplified and reasserted what already had been said in 'Common Sense', with now a greater force and the power of a maturing mind. Just when Paine was at the height of his renown, an indictment for treason confronted him. About the same time he was elected a member of the Revolutionary Assembly and escaped to France. So little did he know of the French tongue that addresses to his constituents had to be translated by an interpreter. But he sat in the assembly. Shrinking from the guillotine, he encountered Robespierre's enmity, and presently found himself in prison, facing that dread instrument. But his imprisonment was fertile. Already he had written the first part of 'The Age of Reason' and now turned his time to the latter part. Presently his second escape cheated Robespierre of vengeance, and in the course of events 'The Age of Reason' appeared. Instantly it became a source of contention which still endures. Paine returned to the United States a little broken, and went to live at his home in New Rochelle - a public gift. Many of his old companions in the struggle for liberty avoided him, and he was publicly condemned by the unthinking. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
When the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812, the British, in time-honoured fashion, abandoned their allies. Who were subsequently wiped out by the Americans along with any other tribes that happened to be in the same general vicinity – even those that had actually been allied with the US government during the war. It’s exactly this sort of thing, of course, which gives colonialism a bad name.
Ben Aaronovitch (The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant, #6))
wash off the journey
Okey Ndibe (Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American)
Euro-American colonialism, an aspect of the capitalist economic globalization, had from its beginnings a genocidal tendency.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
I regard anti-Semitism as ineradicable and as one element of the toxin with which religion has infected us. Perhaps partly for this reason, I have never been able to see Zionism as a cure for it. American and British and French Jews have told me with perfect sincerity that they are always prepared for the day when 'it happens again' and the Jew-baiters take over. (And I don't pretend not to know what they are talking about: I have actually seen the rabid phenomenon at work in modern and sunny Argentina and am unable to forget it.) So then, they seem to think, they will take refuge in the Law of Return, and in Haifa, or for all I know in Hebron. Never mind for now that if all of world Jewry did settle in Palestine, this would actually necessitate further Israeli expansion, expulsion, and colonization, and that their departure under these apocalyptic conditions would leave the new brownshirts and blackshirts in possession of the French and British and American nuclear arsenals. This is ghetto thinking, hardly even fractionally updated to take into account what has changed. The important but delayed realization will have to come: Israeli Jews are a part of the diaspora, not a group that has escaped from it. Why else does Israel daily beseech the often-flourishing Jews of other lands, urging them to help the most endangered Jews of all: the ones who rule Palestine by force of arms? Why else, having supposedly escaped from the need to rely on Gentile goodwill, has Israel come to depend more and more upon it? On this reckoning, Zionism must constitute one of the greatest potential non sequiturs in human history.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
...And although thus short, we shorten many ways, Living so little while we are alive; In eating, drinking, sleeping, vain delight So unawares comes on perpetual night, And puts all pleasures vain unto eternal flight.
Anne Bradstreet (Anthology of American Literature, Volume 1: Colonial through Romantic)
[In] colonial history...we find true Christian nations—the colonies—founded on Christian principles. Those Christian governments were so tyrannical that they became examples for the founders of how not to build a nation.
Andrew L. Seidel (The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American)
Americans can't stand any stranger looking them in the face. They take it as an insult. It's something they don't forgive. And every American carries a gun. If they catch you, a stranger, looking them in the face, they will shoot.
Okey Ndibe (Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American)
When the media is controlled by people who runs the world, you are only going to get news that they want you to know. They will paint anther's man country's hero a tyrant, a dictator or a murderer and favor the next just to divide and conquer the people.
Henry Johnson Jr
Many people today think that the Tea Act—which led to the Boston Tea Party—was simply an increase in the taxes on tea paid by the American colonists. That's where the whole "Taxation Without Representation" meme came from. Instead, the purpose of the Tea Act was to give the East India Company full and unlimited access to the American tea trade and to exempt the company from having to pay taxes to Britain on tea exported to the American colonies. It even gave the company a tax refund on millions of pounds of tea that it was unable to sell and holding in inventory. In other words, the Tea Act was the largest corporate tax break in the history of the world.
Thom Hartmann (The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America--and What We Can Do to Stop It)
Isn't it amazing that, historically, the "Prince of Peace" has most often been introduced to new cultures through extreme violence? European and American colonialists bring this disparity to light in a way that makes me wish that forced conversion didn't work so extraordinarily well.
David G. McAfee
1. Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere. 2. Chile.... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces ... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms ... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion—‘I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’—suggests he may have been having the best of times.... 3. Cyprus.... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occasions. 4. Kurdistan. Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger ... for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created.... The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. 5. East Timor. The day after Kissinger left Djakarta in 1975, the Armed Forces of Indonesia employed American weapons to invade and subjugate the independent former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Isaacson gives a figure of 100,000 deaths resulting from the occupation, or one-seventh of the population, and there are good judges who put this estimate on the low side. Kissinger was furious when news of his own collusion was leaked, because as well as breaking international law the Indonesians were also violating an agreement with the United States.... Monroe Leigh ... pointed out this awkward latter fact. Kissinger snapped: ‘The Israelis when they go into Lebanon—when was the last time we protested that?’ A good question, even if it did not and does not lie especially well in his mouth. It goes on and on and on until one cannot eat enough to vomit enough.
Christopher Hitchens
What a charming place!” Bess remarked, as they reached a small, white, two-story colonial house surrounded by a white picket fence with a gate. Flowers, especially old-fashioned American varieties, grew in profusion in the front yard.
Carolyn Keene (The Clue in the Old Stagecoach (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #37))
I think that we Americans, at least in the Southern col[onie]s, cannot contend with a good grace for liberty until we shall have enfranchised our slaves,” Laurens told a friend right before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.64
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
Why should people in one part of the globe have developed collectivist cultures, while others went individualist? The United States is the individualism poster child for at least two reasons. First there's immigration. Currently, 12 percent of Americans are immigrants, another 12 percent are children of immigrants, and everyone else except for the 0.9 percent pure Native Americans descend from people who emigrated within the last five hundred years. And who were the immigrants? Those in the settled world who were cranks, malcontents, restless, heretical, black sheep, hyperactive, hypomanic, misanthropic, itchy, unconventional, yearning to be rich, yearning to be out of their damn boring repressive little hamlet, yearning. Couple that with the second reason - for the majority of its colonial and independent history, America has had a moving frontier luring those whose extreme prickly optimism made merely booking passage to the New World insufficiently novel - and you've got America the individualistic. Why has East Asia provided textbook examples of collectivism? The key is how culture is shaped by the way people traditionally made a living, which in turn is shaped by ecology. And in East Asia it's all about rice. Rice, which was domesticated there roughly ten thousand years ago, requires massive amounts of communal work. Not just backbreaking planting and harvesting, which are done in rotation because the entire village is needed to harvest each family's rice. The United States was not without labor-intensive agriculture historically. But rather than solving that with collectivism, it solved it withe slavery.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Expansion presented the United States with a dilemma that has confronted many colonial powers. If it allowed democracy to flower in the countries it controlled, those nations would begin acting in accordance with their own interests rather than the interests of the United States, and American influence over them would diminish.
Stephen Kinzer (Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq)
There are an estimated 258 million migrants around the world, and many of us are migrating to countries that previously colonized and imperialized us. We have a human right to move, and governments should serve that right, not limit it. The unprecedented movement of people - what some call a "global migration crisis" - is, in reality, a natural progression of history. Yes, we are here because we believe in the promise of the American Dream - the search for a better life, the challenge of dreaming big. But we are also here because you were there - the cost of American imperialism and globalization, the impact of economic policies and political decisions.
Jose Antonio Vargas (Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen)
Crazy Horse was dead. He was brave and good and wise. He never wanted anything but to save his people, and he fought the Wasichus only when they came to kill us in our own country. He was only thirty years old. They could not kill him in battle. They had to lie to him and kill him that way. I cried all night, and so did my father.
Black Elk (Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux)
The power to narrate, or to block other narratives from forming and emerging, is very important to culture and imperialism, and constitutes one of the main connections between them. Most important, the grand narratives of emancipation and enlightenment mobilized people in the colonial world to rise up and throw off imperial subjection; in the process, many Europeans and Americans were also stirred by these stories and their protagonists, and they too fought for new narratives of equality and human community.
Edward W. Said (Culture and Imperialism)
More than half the colonists who came to the North American shores in the colonial period came as servants.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
I finished reading, not from the sweet, low pathos of the tale, but from the knowledge of the writer’s success. It is so difficult to do anything well in this mysterious world.
Phillip Lopate (The Glorious American Essay: One Hundred Essays from Colonial Times to the Present)
New Englanders began the Revolution not to institute reforms and changes in the order of things, but to save the institutions and customs that already had become old and venerable with them; and were new only to a few stupid Englishmen a hundred and fifty years behind the times.
Edward Pearson Pressey (History of Montague; A Typical Puritan Town)
There needs to be an intersection of the set of people who wish to go, and the set of people who can afford to go...and that intersection of sets has to be enough to establish a self-sustaining civilisation. My rough guess is that for a half-million dollars, there are enough people that could afford to go and would want to go. But it’s not going to be a vacation jaunt. It’s going to be saving up all your money and selling all your stuff, like when people moved to the early American colonies...even at a million people you’re assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people. But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we’re talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship...If we can establish a Mars colony, we can almost certainly colonise the whole Solar System, because we’ll have created a strong economic forcing function for the improvement of space travel. We’ll go to the moons of Jupiter, at least some of the outer ones for sure, and probably Titan on Saturn, and the asteroids. Once we have that forcing function, and an Earth-to-Mars economy, we’ll cover the whole Solar System. But the key is that we have to make the Mars thing work. If we’re going to have any chance of sending stuff to other star systems, we need to be laser-focused on becoming a multi-planet civilisation. That’s the next step.
Elon Musk
I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the colonies from the mother land, but that something in the Declaration giving liberty, not alone to the people of this land, but hope to the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance.
Shelby Foote (The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville)
Here, in America, the idea of race emerged as a means of reconciling chattel slavery—as well as the extermination of American Indians—with the ideals of freedom preached by whites in the new colonies.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Mainline American Protestantism, as is often the case, plodded wearily along as if nothing had changed. Like an aging dowager, living in a decaying mansion on the edge of town, bankrupt and penniless, house decaying around her but acting as if her family still controlled the city, our theologians and church leaders continued to think and act as if we were in charge, as if the old arrangements were still valid.
Stanley Hauerwas (Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony)
THE BOSTON TEA PARTY On December 16, 1773, American colonists met with representatives of the British government in Boston to discuss turning the thirteen American colonies into a separate country. Tea was served.
Gordon Korman (Masterminds)
In 1770, for instance, a famine in Bengal clobbered the company’s revenue. British legislators saved it from bankruptcy by exempting it from tariffs on tea exports to the American colonies. Which was, perhaps, shortsighted on their part: it eventually led to the Boston Tea Party, and the American Declaration of Independence.7 You could say the United States owes its existence to excessive corporate influence on politicians.
Tim Harford (Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy)
During the settling of the American colonies, it was said that the Spaniards would first build a church, the Dutch would first build a fort and the English a tavern. Welcome to Charleston, an English colony founded in 1670.
Mark R. Jones (Wicked Charleston: The Dark Side of the Holy City)
The history of the United States is a history of settler colonialism—the founding of a state based on the ideology of white supremacy, the widespread practice of African slavery, and a policy of genocide and land theft. Those
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
The primary leaders of the so-called founding fathers of our nation were not Bible-believing Christians; they were deists. Deism was a philosophical belief that was widely accepted by the colonial intelligentsia at the time of the American Revolution. Its major tenets included belief in human reason as a reliable means of solving social and political problems and belief in a supreme deity who created the universe to operate solely by natural laws. The supreme God of the Deists removed himself entirely from the universe after creating it. They believed that he assumed no control over it, exerted no influence on natural phenomena, and gave no supernatural revelation to man. A necessary consequence of these beliefs was a rejection of many doctrines central to the Christian religion. Deists did not believe in the virgin birth, divinity, or resurrection of Jesus, the efficacy of prayer, the miracles of the Bible, or even the divine inspiration of the Bible. These beliefs were forcefully articulated by Thomas Paine in Age of Reason, a book that so outraged his contemporaries that he died rejected and despised by the nation that had once revered him as 'the father of the American Revolution.'... Other important founding fathers who espoused Deism were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Ethan Allen, James Madison, and James Monroe. [The Christian Nation Myth, 1999]
Farrell Till
Despite the fact nonwhite people are disproportionately the victims of crime, the criminal justice system as a whole is disproportionately built on the emotional foundation of white fear. But then, that isn’t surprising. American history is the story of white fear, of the constant violent impulses it produces and the management and ordering of those impulses. White fear keeps the citizens of the Nation wary of the Colony, and fuels their desire to keep it separate.
Christopher L. Hayes (A Colony in a Nation)
In the United States the legacy of settler colonialism can be seen in the endless wars of aggression and occupations; the trillions spent on war machinery, military bases, and personnel instead of social services and quality public education; the gross profits of corporations, each of which has greater resources and funds than more than half the countries in the world yet pay minimal taxes and provide few jobs for US citizens; the repression of generation after generation of activists who seek to change the system; the incarceration of the poor, particularly descendants of enslaved Africans; the individualism, carefully inculcated, that on the one hand produces self-blame for personal failure and on the other exalts ruthless dog-eat-dog competition for possible success, even though it rarely results; and high rates of suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual violence against women and children, homelessness, dropping out of school, and gun violence.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
What, then, of the liberated slaves and Indians? The saddest part of the story and perhaps the most revealing is that no one bothered to say. None of the accounts either of Drake’s voyage or of the Roanoke colony mentions what became of them.
Edmund S. Morgan (American Slavery, American Freedom)
MYTH 175. | George Washington was the first president of America. Peyton Randolph was the first American President but he was forgotten due to a technicality. When he was President, the United States was called The United Colonies of America.
John Brown (1000 Random Things You Always Believed That Are Not True)
Infant mortality of African Americans is twice that of whites, and black babies born in more racially segregated cities have higher rates of mortality. The life expectancy of African Americans is as much as six years less than that of whites.
Harriet A. Washington (Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present)
Eliminating 'savages' is less of a moral problem than eliminating human beings, and therefore American Indians came to be understood as a lesser race—uncivilized savages—thus providing a justification for the extermination of the native peoples.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
The important point of this report [Montague, Massachusetts; July 7, 1774] may be summed up in six resolutions: 1. We approve of the plan for a Continental Congress September 1, at Philadelphia. 2. We urge the disuse of India teas and British goods. 3. We will act for the suppression of pedlers and petty chapmen (supposably vendors of dutiable wares). 4. And work to promote American manufacturing. 5. We ought to relieve Boston. 6. We appoint the 14th day of July, a day of humiliation and prayer.
Edward Pearson Pressey (History of Montague; A Typical Puritan Town)
Indian history is the antidote to the pious ethnocentrism of American exceptionalism, the notion that European Americans are God’s chosen people. Indian history reveals that the United States and its predecessor British colonies have wrought great harm in the world. We must not forget this—not to wallow in our wrongdoing, but to understand and to learn, that we might not wreak harm again.
James W. Loewen (Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong)
Ultimately the gun is the backstop that prevents the entire social order from being upended. Had it not been for the superior firepower of fearful whites, who knows what would have transpired in American history? You can understand why, in a such a situation, certain kinds of white southerners would cling to their guns. Today Americans still rely on the gun, [...],to preserve the social order [...].
Chris Hayes (A Colony in a Nation)
US history, as well as inherited Indigenous trauma, cannot be understood without dealing with the genocide that the United States committed against Indigenous peoples. From the colonial period through the founding of the United States and continuing in the twenty-first century, this has entailed torture, terror, sexual abuse, massacres, systematic military occupations, removals of Indigenous peoples from their ancestral territories, and removals of Indigenous children to military-like boarding schools. The absence of even the slightest note of regret or tragedy in the annual celebration of the US independence betrays a deep disconnect in the consciousness of US Americans.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
The first large-scale revolt in the North American colonies took place in New York in 1712. In New York, slaves were 10 percent of the population, the highest proportion in the northern states, where economic conditions usually did not require large numbers of field slaves.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
The United States was a settler-colonial society, the most brutal form of imperialism. You’d need to overlook the fact that you’re getting a richer, freer life by virtue of decimating the indigenous population, the first great “original sin” of American society; and massive slavery of another segment of the society, the second great sin (we’re still living with the effects of both of them); and then overlook bitterly exploited labor, overseas conquests, and so on. Just overlook those small details and then there’s a certain truth to our ideals.
Noam Chomsky (Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power)
Wasplike with their long slender hulls, these were ships not seen in these waters before. They approached in a line, each flying a large American flag. To the hundreds of onlookers by now gathered on shore, many also carrying American flags, it would be a sight they would never forget and into which they read great meaning. These were the descendants of the colonials returning now at Britain's hour of need....
Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania)
This book makes a simple argument: that American criminal justice isn’t one system with massive racial disparities but two distinct regimes. One (the Nation) is the kind of policing regime you expect in a democracy; the other (the Colony) is the kind you expect in an occupied land.
Chris Hayes (A Colony in a Nation)
In a new Russian colonialism that began in 2013, Russian leaders and propagandists imagined neighboring Ukrainians out of existence or presented them as sub-Russians. In characterizations that recall what Hitler said about Ukrainians (and Russians), Russian leaders described Ukraine as an artificial entity with no history, culture, and language, backed by some global agglomeration of Jews, gays, Europeans, and Americans. In
Timothy Snyder (Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning)
Not one of our political spokespeople—the same is true of the Arabs since Abdel Nasser’s time—ever speaks with self-respect and dignity of what we are, what we want, what we have done, and where we want to go. In the 1956 Suez War, the French colonial war against Algeria, the Israeli wars of occupation and dispossession, and the campaign against Iraq, a war whose stated purpose was to topple a specific regime but whose real goal was the devastation of the most powerful Arab country. And just as the French, British, Israeli, and American campaign against Gamal Abdel Nasser was designed to bring down a force that openly stated as its ambition the unification of the Arabs into a very powerful independent political force.
Edward W. Said (From Oslo to Iraq and the Road Map: Essays)
Codfish aristocracy' is what they call us. Men who've made a fortune in business, but are common-born." "Why codfish?" "It used to refer to the rich merchants who settled the American colonies and made their money in the cod trade. Now it means any successful businessman." "Nouveau riche is another term," Helen added. "It's never used as a compliment, of course. But it should be. Being self-made is something to be admired." As she felt his soundless chuckle, she insisted, "It is." Rhys turned his head to kiss her. "You've no need to flatter my vanity." "I'm not flattering you. I think you're remarkable.
Lisa Kleypas (Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels, #2))
. . . [H]ad North America been a wilderness, undeveloped, without roads, and uncultivated, it might still be so, for the European colonists could not have survived. They appropriated what had already been created by Indigenous civilizations. They stole already cultivated farmland and the corn, vegetables, tobacco, and other crops domesticated over centuries, took control of the deer parks that had been cleared and maintained by Indigenous communities, used existing roads and water routes in order to move armies to conquer, and relied on captured Indigenous people to identify the locations of water, oyster beds, and medicinal herbs.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
John Knox prayed, and the results caused Queen Mary to say that she feared the prayers of John Knox more than she feared all the armies of Scotland. John Wesley prayed, and revival came to England, sparing that nation the horrors of the French Revolution. Jonathan Edwards prayed, and revival spread throughout the American colonies. History has been changed time after time because of prayer. I tell you, history could be changed again if people went to their knees in believing prayer. Even when times are bleak and the world scorns God, He still works through the prayers of His people. Pray today for revival in your nation, and around the world.
Billy Graham (Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith)
On various occasions, especially in trying to think of western American history in the context of the worldwide history of colonialism, it has struck me that much of the mental behavior that we sometimes denounce as ethnocentrism and cultural insensitivity actually derives less from our indifference or hostility than from our clumsiness and awkwardness when we leave the comfort of the English language behind... [V]enturing outside the bounds of the English language exercises and stretches our minds in ways that are essential for getting as close as we can to the act of seeing the world from what would otherwise remain unfamiliar and alien perspectives.
Patricia Nelson Limerick (Shadows at Dawn: A Borderlands Massacre and the Violence of History)
Refugees such as ourselves could never dare question the Disneyland ideology followed by most Americans, that theirs was the happiest place on earth. But Dr. Hedd was beyond reproach, for he was an English immigrant. His very existence as such validated the legitimacy of the former colonies, while his heritage and accent triggered the latent Anglophilia and inferiority complex found in many Americans. Dr. Hedd was clearly aware of his privilege and was amused at the discomfort he was causing his American hosts.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
Carl Degler says (Out of Our Past): “No new social class came to power through the door of the American revolution. The men who engineered the revolt were largely members of the colonial ruling class.” George Washington was the richest man in America. John Hancock was a prosperous Boston merchant. Benjamin Franklin was a wealthy printer. And so on.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
No political system ever perfectly expresses the needs of its society. No society in the English colonies constructed political arrangements completely faithful to itself.
Robert Middlekauff (The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789)
Shortly after the founding of the Massachusetts Bay colony in the seventeenth century, some Puritans lamented a decline from earlier virtue.
Joseph S. Nye Jr. (Is the American Century Over? (Global Futures))
A quote from the American Thomas Jefferson. “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.
Steve Berry (The 14th Colony (Cotton Malone #11))
In the 1940s a white American man wrote about the sacred myths of other cultures. He decided he knew what they meant better than those cultures themselves did.
Drew Jacob
that we die, our very humanity slayed, whenever we choose to remain silent in the face of tyranny.
Okey Ndibe (Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American)
Winter, I wrote, was akin to living inside a refrigerator.
Okey Ndibe (Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American)
Let me put it this way. Canada is not so much a country as a holding tank filled with the disgruntled progeny of defeated peoples.
Mordecai Richler
No new social class came to power through the door of the American revolution. The men who engineered the revolt were largely members of the colonial ruling class.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Perhaps the main reason America cannot 'get over' its war with Viet Nam is that Americans cannot fit what happened into its earlier myth of itself—that we had always been 'the good guys,' conquering injustice around the world. The tens of thousands of mistreated half-American children born in Viet Nam are one untidy fact we have been unable to fit into that myth.
Trin Yarborough (Surviving Twice: Amerasian Children of the Vietnam War)
Carl Degler says (Out of Our Past): “No new social class came to power through the door of the American revolution. The men who engineered the revolt were largely members of the colonial ruling class.” George Washington was the richest man in America. John Hancock was a prosperous Boston merchant. Benjamin Franklin was a wealthy printer. And so on. On the other hand, town mechanics, laborers, and seamen, as well as small farmers, were swept into “the people” by the rhetoric of the Revolution, by the camaraderie of military service, by the distribution of some land. Thus was created a substantial body of support, a national consensus, something that, even with the exclusion of ignored and oppressed people, could be called “America.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Much of [John Hanning] Speke's Journal of the Discovery of the Source of Nile is devoted to descriptions of the physical and moral ugliness of Africa's "primitive races," in whose condition he found "a strikingly existing proof of the Holy Scriptures." For his text, Speke took the story in Genesis 9, which tells how Noah, when he was just six hundred years old and had safely skippered his ark over the flood to dry land, got drunk and passed out naked in his tent. On emerging from his oblivion, Noah learned that his youngest son, Ham, had seen him naked; that Ham had told his brothers, Shem and Japheth, of the spectacle; and that Shem and Japheth had, with their backs chastely turned, covered the old man with a garment. Noah responded by cursing the progeny of Ham's son, Canaan, saying, "A slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers." Amid the perplexities of Genesis, this is one of the most enigmatic stories, and it has been subjected to many bewildering interpretations--most notably that Ham was the original black man. To the gentry of the American South, the weird tale of Noah's curse justified slavery, and to Spake and his colonial contemporaries it spelled the history of Africa's peoples. On "contemplating these sons of Noah," he marveled that "as they were then, so they appear to be now.
Philip Gourevitch (We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families)
Old measures of health not only have failed to improve significantly but have stayed the same: some have even worsened. Mainstream newspapers and magazines often report disease in an ethnocentric manner that shrouds its true cost among African Americans. For example, despite the heavy emphasis on genetic ailments among blacks, fewer than 0.5 percent of black deaths—that’s less than one death in two hundred—can be attributed to hereditary disorders such as sickle-cell anemia. A closer look at the troubling numbers reveals that blacks are dying not of exotic, incurable, poorly understood illnesses nor of genetic diseases that target only them, but rather from common ailments that are more often prevented and treated among whites than among blacks.
Harriet A. Washington (Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present)
A best-selling “pocket book,” published in London, was widely read in the American colonies in the 1700s. It was called Advice to a Daughter: You must first lay it down for a Foundation in general, That there is Inequality in Sexes, and that for the better Oeconomy of the World; the Men, who were to be the Law-givers, had the larger share of Reason bestow’d upon them; by which means your Sex is the better prepar’d for the Compliance that is necessary for the performance of those Duties which seem’d to be most properly assign’d to it. . . . Your Sex wanteth our Reason for your Conduct, and our Strength for your Protection: Ours wanteth your Gentleness to soften, and to entertain us. . . . Against this powerful education, it is remarkable that women nevertheless rebelled.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
Indian history is the antidote to the pious ethnocentrism of American exceptionalism, the notion that European Americans are God’s chosen people. Indian history reveals that the United States and its predecessor British colonies have wrought great harm in the world. We must not forget this—not to wallow in our wrongdoing, but to understand and to learn, that we might not wreak harm again. We must temper our national pride with critical self-knowledge, suggests historian Christopher Vecsey: “The study of our contact with Indians, the envisioning of our dark American selves, can instill such a strengthening doubt.”124 History through red eyes offers our children a deeper understanding than comes from encountering the past as a story of inevitable triumph by the good guys. 5.
James W. Loewen (Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong)
American capitalism replaced some of the old colonial capitalisms in the countries that began their independent life. But it knows that this is transitory and that there is no real security for its financial speculation in these new territories. The octopus cannot there apply its suckers firmly. The claw of the imperial eagle is trimmed. Colonialism is dead or is dying a natural death in all these places.
Ernesto Che Guevara
Out of this unstable mix of technocracy and national security you have a nostalgia developing for colonialism or religion—atavistic in my opinion, but some people want them back. Sadat is the great example of that: he threw out the Russians, as well as everything else that represented Abdel Nasser, ascendant nationalism, and so forth—and said, “Let the Americans come.” Then you have a new period of what in Arabic is called an infitah—in other words, an opening of the country to a new imperialism: technocratic management, not production but services—tourism, hotels, banking, etc. That’s where we are right now.
Edward W. Said (Power, Politics And Culture)
The Queen coined new money specifically for the Company {East India}. Minted at the Tower of London and bearing her arms on one side and a portcullis on the other, it soon became know as the portcullis money. She also granted the merchants a new flag which, with its blue field and background of thirteen red and white stripes, prefigured the one adopted by the Thirteen Colonies of America some 175 years later.
Giles Milton (Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History)
From their arrival around 1619, African people had illegally resisted legal slavery. They had thus been stamped from the beginning as criminals. In all of the fifty suspected or actual slave revolts reported in newspapers during the American colonial era, resisting Africans were nearly always cast as violent criminals, not people reacting to enslavers’ regular brutality, or pressing for the most basic human desire: freedom.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Cora, the daughter of Isidore Levinson, a dry goods millionaire from Cincinnati, arrived in England in 1888, when she was 20 years old, with her mother as chaperone. By this time, even respectable rich American girls preferred to find their husbands amongst the nobility. Thanks to the successes of the earlier Buccaneers and a fashion for all things European, from interiors to dress designers such as the House of Worth, pursuing an English marriage had now become desirable. For these families, the many years in which Americans had fought to escape the clutches of colonial rule and create their own republic appeared to have been forgotten.
Jessica Fellowes (The World of Downton Abbey)
affinities under the crust of colonialism. This brief overview of precolonial North America suggests the magnitude of what was lost to all humanity and counteracts the settler-colonial myth of the wandering Neolithic hunter.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
The consequences of this amassing of fortunes were first felt in the catastrophe experienced by small farmers in Europe and England. The peasants became impoverished, dependent workers crowded into city slums. For the first time in human history, the majority of Europeans depended for their livelihood on a small wealthy minority, a phenomenon that capitalist-based colonialism would spread worldwide. The symbol of this new development, indeed its currency, was gold. Gold fever drove colonizing ventures, organized at first in pursuit of the metal in its raw form. Later the pursuit of gold became more sophisticated, with planters and merchants establishing whatever conditions were necessary to hoard as much gold as possible. Thus was born an ideology: the belief in the inherent value of gold despite its relative uselessness in reality. Investors, monarchies, and parliamentarians devised methods to control the processes of wealth accumulation and the power that came with it, but the ideology behind gold fever mobilized settlers to cross the Atlantic to an unknown fate. Subjugating entire societies and civilizations, enslaving whole countries, and slaughtering people village by village did not seem too high a price to pay, nor did it appear inhumane. The systems of colonization were modern and rational, but its ideological basis was madness.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
Between 1968 and 1973, the United States and Britain, the latter the colonial administrator, forcibly removed the indigenous inhabitants of the islands, the Chagossians. Most of the two thousand deportees ended up more than a thousand miles away in Mauritius and the Seychelles, where they were thrown into lives of poverty and forgotten. The purpose of this expulsion was to create a major US military base on one of the Chagossian islands, Diego Garcia.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
On February 22, 1899, the New York Times ran an article headlined “Americanizing Puerto Rico,” describing Puerto Ricans as “uneducated, simple-minded and harmless people who are only interested in wine, women, music and dancing.
Nelson A. Denis (War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony)
the crisis that came upon the English colonies in the American Revolution was constitutional. It raised the question of how men should be governed, or as the Americans came to say, whether they as free men could govern themselves.
Robert Middlekauff (The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789)
Nay, so great was our famine that a Salvage we slew and buried, the poorer sort took him up again and eat him; and so did divers one another, boyled and stewed with roots and herbs. And one amongst the rest did kill his wife, powdered her, and had eaten part of her, before it was knowne, for which hee was executed, as hee well deserved. Now whether shee was better roasted, boyled, or carbonado'd I know not, but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of.
John Smith (Pocahontas: My Own Story)
To be outnumbered and afraid in a land not your own, and to attempt to bring it under your control—this is the great recurring theme of the American project, and it is shot through at every moment by fear and violence and subjugation
Chris Hayes (A Colony in a Nation)
In the West Indies and South America, slaves were worked to death and replaced with fresh imports, but in the continental North American colonies of Great Britain the situation was the opposite. By about 1710, as Morgan notes, “Virginia’s slave population began to grow from natural increase, an unprecedented event for any New World slave population.…In 1700 Virginia had 13,000 slaves; in 1730, 40,000; in 1750, 105,000, of whom nearly 80 percent were Virginia born.
Henry Wiencek (An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America)
I look around as people take seats in our segregated sections—South Asian, African American, Arab, Southeast Asian. East Asian and Latinx, too, though they seem to be fewer in number. Soheil was right. Everything is deliberate. Divide and conquer. We may all be Muslims, but we still have our prejudices and racism. It’s simpler to play on our internalized “-isms” if you separate us and feed our fears—easier to make us “other” ourselves and do the Director’s work for him. Today, we’re all Muslims who’ve been forced here, but maybe it wouldn’t be hard to tap into our bigotry to turn us against one another, to turn our gaze away from where our anger should really be directed. Classic colonial conquest strategy. Just ask the British.
Samira Ahmed (Internment)
IN PHILADELPHIA, the same day as the British landing on Staten Island, July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress, in a momentous decision, voted to “dissolve the connection” with Great Britain. The news reached New York four days later, on July 6, and at once spontaneous celebrations broke out. “The whole choir of our officers . . . went to a public house to testify our joy at the happy news of Independence. We spent the afternoon merrily,” recorded Isaac Bangs. A letter from John Hancock to Washington, as well as the complete text of the Declaration, followed two days later: That our affairs may take a more favorable turn [Hancock wrote], the Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve the connection between Great Britain and the American colonies, and to declare them free and independent states; as you will perceive by the enclosed Declaration, which I am directed to transmit to you, and to request you will have it proclaimed at the head of the army in the way you shall think most proper.
David McCullough (1776)
It so happened that no job, short of the Presidency itself, so appealed to Roosevelt. Convinced as he might be that Cuba deserved its freedom from Spanish rule, he was equally convinced that the Philippines needed the benison of an American colonial administration. “I … feel sure that we can ultimately help our brethren so far forward on the path of self-government and orderly liberty that that beautiful archipelago shall become a center of civilization for all eastern Asia and the islands round about.…
Edmund Morris (The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt)
Wasplike with their long slender hulls, these were ships not seen in these waters before. They approached in a line, each flying a large American flag. To the hundreds of onlookers by now gathered on shore, many also carrying American flags, it would be a sight they would never forget and into which they read great meaning. These were the descendants of the colonials returning now at Britain’s hour of need, the moment captured in an immediately famous painting by Bernard Gribble, The Return of the Mayflower.
Erik Larson (Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania)
Indian history is the antidote to the pious ethnocentrism of American exceptionalism, the notion that European Americans are God’s chosen people. Indian history reveals that the United States and its predecessor British colonies have wrought great harm in the world. We must not forget this—not to wallow in our wrongdoing, but to understand and to learn, that we might not wreak harm again. We must temper our national pride with critical self-knowledge, suggests historian Christopher Vecsey: “The study of our contact with Indians, the envisioning of our dark American selves, can instill such a strengthening doubt.”124 History through red eyes offers our children a deeper understanding than comes from encountering the past as a story of inevitable triumph by the good guys.
James W. Loewen (Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong)
One of the outstanding sources of resistance to imperial power in the Muslim world came from Sufi groups. While Sufi brotherhoods are generally known for a more quietist and mystic approach to Islam, they traditionally rank among the best organized and most coherent groupings in society. They constitute ready-made organizations - social-based NGOs, if you will - for maintaining Islamic culture and practices under periods of extreme oppression and for fomenting resistance and guerrilla warfare against foreign occupation. The history of Sufi participation in dozens of liberation struggles is long and widespread across Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Sufi groups were prominent in the anti-Soviet resistance, and later against the American in Afghanistan and against US occupation forces in Iraq.
Graham E. Fuller
The Tonkin incident—the supposed attack on American destroyers by North Vietnamese torpedo boats near the coast of Vietnam—became the excuse for the swift American escalation of the colonial war that the French had lost in 1954 and that the United States had taken over.
Howard Zinn (You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times)
That the continued colonization of American Indian nations, peoples, and lands provides the United States the economic and material resources needed to cast its imperialist gaze globally is a fact that is simultaneously obvious within - and yet continuously obscured by - what is essentially a settler colony's national construction of itself as an ever more perfect multicultural, multiracial democracy...[T]he status of American Indians as sovereign nations colonized by the United States continues to haunt and inflect its raison d'être." Jodi Byrd
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
The author relates the progress of inoculation against smallpox in America with the interaction between an African slave named Onisimus whose homeland knew how to treat the malady and and leading clergyman Cotton Mather who was curious and open-minded enough to listen to him.
Robert J. Allison (Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We...solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of a right ought to be free and independent states...and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.
Thomas Jefferson (Declaration of Independence)
Unquestionably, New York enjoyed enormous strategic significance. As Adams had already apprised Washington, it was “the nexus of the Northern and Southern colonies … the key to the whole Continent, as it is a Passage to Canada, to the Great Lakes, and to all the Indian Nations.
Joseph J. Ellis (Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence)
During the forty-five months of World War II, the United States lost just under 1 percent of its adult male population; during the Civil War the casualty rate was somewhere between 4 and 5 percent; during the fourteen months of King Philip’s War, Plymouth Colony lost close to 8 percent of its men. But the English losses appear almost inconsequential when compared to those of the Indians. Of a total Native population of approximately 20,000, at least 2,000 had been killed in battle or died of their injuries; 3,000 had died of sickness and starvation, 1,000 had been shipped out of the country as slaves, while an estimated 2,000 eventually fled to either the Iroquois to the west or the Abenakis to the north. Overall, the Native American population of southern New England had sustained a loss of somewhere between 60 and 80 percent.
Nathaniel Philbrick (Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War)
Slave ships landed more than 1.5 million African captives on British Caribbean islands (primarily Jamaica and Barbados) by the late 1700s and had brought more than 2 million to Brazil. In North America, however, the numbers of the enslaved grew, except in the most malarial lowlands of the Carolina rice country. By 1775, 500,000 of the thirteen colonies’ 2.5 million inhabitants were slaves, about the same as the number of slaves then alive in the British Caribbean colonies. Slave labor was crucial to the North American colonies. Tobacco shipments from the
Edward E. Baptist (The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism)
The movement to join Washington had a substantial following in the 1850s, centred in Montreal...It faced considerable resistance, though - in part because the United States was having one of its periodic convulsions of nativist politics and a furious debate over the slave trade. In fact, the U.S.-annexation movement would receive its final rebuff not from colonial-minded Canadians but from the Confederate states, who feared that the addition of the British North American colonies to the 31 states would tip the political balance of power away from slavery.
Doug Saunders (Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Are Not Enough)
A closer look at the troubling numbers reveals that blacks are dying not of exotic, incurable, poorly understood illnesses nor of genetic diseases that target only them, but rather from common ailments that are more often prevented and treated among whites than among blacks. Three
Harriet A. Washington (Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present)
If some saw the Indians as living in prelapsarian innocence, there were others who judged them to be savage beasts, devils in the form of men. The discovery of cannibals in the Caribbean did nothing to assuage this opinion. The Spaniards used it as a justification to exploit the natives mercilessly for their own mercantile ends. For if you do not consider the man before you to be human, there are few restraints of conscience on your behavior towards him. It was not until 1537, with the papal bull of Paul III that the Indians were declared to be true men possessing souls.
Paul Auster (City of Glass (The New York Trilogy, #1))
Diminishing their intellect was yet another way to justify enslaving African Americans, and it had the added benefit of preserving some types of work for whites, and creating and maintaining clear social and economic boundaries between blacks and whites. In an explicit challenge to African Americans’ intellect, eighteen prominent Massachusetts white men—including John Hancock and Thomas Hutchinson, the governor of the colony—examined Phillis Wheatley in Boston’s Town Hall in 1772 to determine whether she could possibly have produced the poetry she claimed to have written.
Heather Andrea Williams (American Slavery: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
The first Africans were brought to the colony of Virginia in 1619. They were slaves, ripped from their homes and families to work in the new world. . . . We must understand what slavery did in America and to America. . . . [White supremacy was supported by] terrorism that is reminiscent of what we see ISIS carrying out today. Armed men beating down the doors of black families and brutalizing them. . . . Lynching was a very effective way to keep African Americans from owning property, advancing economically, voting or getting anywhere near the banquet table of our country.
William H. Willimon (Who Lynched Willie Earle?: Preaching to Confront Racism)
few learn about the first slaves that arrived in the Massachusetts Colony set up by the Christian Pilgrims and Puritans. When that slave ship arrived in Massachusetts, the ship’s officers were arrested and imprisoned and the kidnapped slaves were returned to Africa at the Colony’s expense.
David Barton (Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White)
So the history of the modern state can also be read as the history of race, bringing together the stories of two kinds of victims of European political modernity: the internal victims of state building and the external victims of imperial expansion. Hannah Arendt noted this in her monumental study on the Holocaust, which stands apart for one reason: rather than talk about the uniqueness of the Holocaust, Arendt sited it in the imperial history of genocide. The history she sketched was that of European settlers killing off native populations. Arendt understood the history of imperialism through the workings of racism and bureaucracy, institutions forged in the course of European expansion into the non-European world: “Of the two main political devices of imperialist rule, race was discovered in South Africa, and bureaucracy in Algeria, Egypt and India.” Hannah Arendt’s blind spot was the New World. Both racism and genocide had occurred in the American colonies earlier than in South Africa. The near decimation of Native Americans through a combination of slaughter, disease, and dislocation was, after all, the first recorded genocide in modern history.
Mahmood Mamdani (Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror)
On January 27, 1778, the -Articles of Confederation-, recently adopted by Congress, were debated here [Montague, Massachusetts]. It was 'voted to approve of the Articles, except the first clause,' giving Congress the power to declare peace and war. This it was resolved, 'belongs to the people.
Edward Pearson Pressey (History of Montague; A Typical Puritan Town)
European institutions and the worldview of conquest and colonialism had formed several centuries before that. From the eleventh through the thirteenth centuries, Europeans conducted the Crusades to conquer North Africa and the Middle East, leading to unprecedented wealth in the hands of a few.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
That year, and every year, it seemed, we began by studying the Revolutionary War. We were taken in school buses on field trips to visit Plymouth Rock, and to walk the Freedom Trail, and to climb to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument. We made dioramas out of colored construction paper depicting George Washington crossing the choppy waters of the Delaware River, and we made puppets of King George wearing white tights and a black bow in his hair. During tests we were given blank maps of the thirteen colonies, and asked to fill in names, dates, capitals. I could do it with my eyes closed.
Jhumpa Lahiri (Interpreter of Maladies)
The form of colonialism that the Indigenous peoples of North America have experienced was modern from the beginning: the expansion of European corporations, backed by government armies, into foreign areas, with subsequent expropriation of lands and resources. Settler colonialism is a genocidal policy.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
I don't want her to know the truth about us." "I'm merely going to explain to explain that I'm not Nathaniel's mistress." "You can't talk about mistresses to a well-bred Englishwoman. It violates every propriety." "To speak in a forthright manner violates propriety?" She rose to stare at him with thinly veiled amusements. "No wonder you English lost the colonies. What with all the lying and the 'propriety' and the evasions, how do you ever get anything done?" As she crossed the box to sit down beside Evelina, he stared after her in fascinated amazement. Americans were mad—that’s all there was to it.
Sabrina Jeffries (Married to the Viscount (Swanlea Spinsters, #5))
The first is the political tale of how thirteen colonies came together and agreed on the decision to secede from the British Empire. Here the center point is the Continental Congress, and the leading players, at least in my version, are John Adams, John Dickinson, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.
Joseph J. Ellis (Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence)
to find language inspiring to all classes, specific enough in its listing of grievances to charge people with anger against the British, vague enough to avoid class conflict among the rebels, and stirring enough to build patriotic feeling for the resistance movement. Tom Paine’s Common Sense, which appeared in early 1776 and became the most popular pamphlet in the American colonies, did this. It made the first bold argument for independence, in words that any fairly literate person could understand: “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil. . . .
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
On the human imagination events produce the effects of time. Thus he who has travelled far and seen much is apt to fancy that he has lived long; and the history that most abounds in important incidents soonest assumes the aspect of antiquity. In no other way can we account for the venerable air that is already gathering around American annals. When the mind reverts to the earliest days of colonial history, the period seems remote and obscure, the thousand changes that thicken along the links of recollections, throwing back the origin of the nation to a day so distant as seemingly to reach the mists of time; and yet four lives of ordinary duration would suffice to transmit, from mouth to mouth, in the form of tradition, all that civilized man has achieved within the limits of the republic.....Thus, what seems venerable by an accumulation of changes is reduced to familiarity when we come seriously to consider it solely in connection with time.
James Fenimore Cooper (The Deer Slayer V1: Or The First Warpath (1841))
Secretary Hull was even more skeptical of de Gaulle than the President. He was equally opposed to the restoration of France’s colonial empire in the postwar world save as trusteeships — for how could American sons be expected to give their lives merely to reestablish a colonial yoke they themselves had thrown off in 1783?
Nigel Hamilton (Commander in Chief: FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943)
We who are Americans witness in this hour the exhaustion of the American revolutionary ethic. Wherever we turn, that is what is to be seen: in the ironic public policy of internal colonialism symbolized by the victimization of the welfare population, in the usurpation of the federal budget—and thus, the sacrifice of the nation’s material and moral necessities—by an autonomous military-scientific-intelligence principality, by the police aggressions against black citizens, by political prosecutions of dissenters, by official schemes to intimidate the media and vitiate the First Amendment, by cynical designs to demean and neutralize the courts.
William Stringfellow (William Stringfellow: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters))
Who, in Europe, can take this bloodless colonial fracas seriously? On September 9, the day after Prevost’s armistice ends, Napoleon launches and, at great cost, wins the Battle of Borodino, thus opening the way to Moscow. The casualties on that day exceed eighty thousand—a figure greater than the entire population, of Upper Canada.
Pierre Berton (The American Invasion of Canada: The War of 1812's First Year)
What if the Cairo Conference of 1921 went ahead as planned, with Churchill and T.E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell dividing up the Middle East for the British? What if they chose a Hashemite king to rule Iraq, and would that have led to a revolution in the nineteen fifties? Or, what if the French war in Indochina somehow led to American involvement in Vietnam? Or if the British held on to their colonies in Africa after the Second World War? You see – " he was in full steam now, his eyes shining like the headlamps of a speeding engine – "the Vigilante series is full of this sort of thing. A series of simple decisions made in hotel rooms and offices that led to a completely different world.
Lavie Tidhar (Osama)
no shared sense of American nationhood existed in 1776, even though the Continental Congress and the Continental Army can be regarded as embryonic versions of such. All alliances among the colonies, and then the states, were presumed to be provisional and temporary arrangements. Allegiances within the far-flung American population remained local,
Joseph J. Ellis (Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence)
The real aim of colonialism was to control the people’s wealth, what they produced, how they produced it,” Ngūgī wa Thiong’o sees the way that control was introduced and managed was to deconstruct the people’s sense of self and replace it with that of the colonizer. This would occur when a people’s perception of themselves and their world was overthrown.
Richard Twiss (Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys: A Native American Expression of the Jesus Way)
Corn Dance remains strongest among the Muskogee people. The elements of the ritual dance are similar to those of the Valley of Mexico. Although the dance takes various forms among different communities, the core of it is the same, a commemoration of the gift of corn by an ancestral corn woman. The peoples of the corn retain great affinities under the crust of colonialism.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
The goal of the Deep Southern oligarchy has been consistent for over four centuries: to control and maintain a one-party state with a colonial-style economy based on large-scale agriculture and the extraction of primary resources by a compliant, poorly educated, low-wage workforce with as few labor, workplace safety, health care, and environmental regulations as possible.
Colin Woodard (American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America)
When you look at it objectively, that’s what most colonists do—they land then find a way of wiping out their competition. In America is was blankets covered with smallpox and in Australia it was permits to hunt aborigines. If you wipe a whole people from the face of the earth, then there’s no one to point fingers at you. It’s just their spirits that haunt you and spirits can’t do shit.
Alex Latimer (The Space Race)
But whatever the academic debate on the topic, Nixon was correct that black Americans “don’t want to be a colony in a nation.” And yet he helped bring about that very thing. Over the half-century since he delivered those words, we have built a colony in a nation, not in the classic Marxist sense but in the deep sense we can appreciate as a former colony ourselves: A territory that isn’t actually free. A place controlled from outside rather than within. A place where the mechanisms of representation don’t work enough to give citizens a sense of ownership over their own government. A place where the law is a tool of control rather than a foundation for prosperity. A political regime like the one our Founders inherited and rejected. An order they spilled their blood to defeat. THIS
Chris Hayes (A Colony in a Nation)
The Ewells, then, are not bit players in our country’s history. Their history starts in the 1500s, not the 1900s. It derives from British colonial policies dedicated to resettling the poor, decisions that conditioned American notions of class and left a permanent imprint. First known as “waste people,” and later “white trash,” marginalized Americans were stigmatized for their inability to be productive, to own property, or to produce healthy and upwardly mobile children—the sense of uplift on which the American dream is predicated. The American solution to poverty and social backwardness was not what we might expect. Well into the twentieth century, expulsion and even sterilization sounded rational to those who wished to reduce the burden of “loser” people on the larger economy.
Nancy Isenberg (White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America)
I had the foolish idea that we should test for desirable and useful traits so that we could assemble ideally balanced teams to the colonies. [...] It's like those foolish attempts to control immigration to America based on the traits that were deemed desirable, when in fact the only trait that defines Americans historically is "descended from somebody willing to give up everything to live there.
Orson Scott Card (Ender in Exile (Ender's Saga, #1.2))
But, by a curious twist, it is not the leadership that is old and decorous that fetches him, but the leadership that is new and extravagant. He will resist dictation out of the past, but he will follow a new messiah with almost Russian willingness, and into the wildest vagaries of economics, religion, morals and speech. A new fallacy in politics spreads faster in the United States than anywhere else on earth, and so does a new fashion in hats, or a new revelation of God, or a new means of killing time, or a new metaphor or piece of slang. Thus the American, on his linguistic side, likes to make his language as he goes along, and not all the hard work of his grammar teachers can hold the business back. A novelty loses nothing by the fact that it is a novelty; it rather gains something, and particularly if it meet the national fancy for the terse, the vivid, and, above all, the bold and imaginative. The characteristic American habit of reducing complex concepts to the starkest abbreviations was already noticeable in colonial times, [Pg023] and such highly typical Americanisms as O. K., N. G., and P. D. Q., have been traced back to the first days of the republic. Nor are the influences that shaped these early tendencies invisible
H.L. Mencken (The American Language)
Our government doesn’t necessarily agree with Wilson’s Fourteen Points.” Maud nodded. “I suppose we’re against point five, about colonial peoples having a say in their own government.” “Exactly. What about Rhodesia, and Barbados, and India? We can’t be expected to ask the natives’ permission before we civilize them. Americans are far too liberal. And we’re dead against point two, freedom of the seas in war and peace.
Ken Follett (Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy #1))
the extent of Parliament’s authority to legislate for the colonies had not been closely examined by anyone. When it was, it became a center of controversy. The common presumption in England, wholly unexamined, was that all was clear in the colonial relation. The colonies were colonies, after all, and as such they were “dependencies,” plants set out by superiors, the “children” of the “mother country,” and “our subjects.
Robert Middlekauff (The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789)
Chapter 4 Tyranny Is Tyranny Around 1776, certain important people in the English colonies made a discovery that would prove enormously useful for the next two hundred years. They found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal unity called the United States, they could take over land, profits, and political power from favorites of the British Empire. In the process, they could hold back a number of potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership. When we look at the American Revolution this way, it was a work of genius, and the Founding Fathers deserve the awed tribute they have received over the centuries. They created the most effective system of national control devised in modern times, and showed future generations of leaders the advantages of combining paternalism with command.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
If Laura was so prolific with poems, and in truth she was, then what was the problem with Megan’s request? Couldn’t Laura, with a little doing, keep stringing together line after line of words and construct, in time, a novel? It seemed logical, but there was the matter of finding an idea and sustaining it. Only fire could do that. The fire of rebellion. Mario Vargas Llosa had not used the term “fire” exactly, but rather had discussed the presence of “seditious roots” that could “dynamite the world” the writer inhabited. He claimed that writing stories was an exercise in freedom and quarreling—out-and-out rebellion, whether or not the writer was conscious of it. And this rebellion, Vargas Llosa reminded his readers, was why the Spanish Inquisition had strictly censored works of fiction, prohibiting them for three hundred years in the American colonies.
L.L. Barkat (The Novelist)
The main idea of personal happiness at that [Colonial] time was not some hedonistic notion of pleasure but the other, more philosophical, kind. The Greek philosophers believed that discovering one's own talents and then taking the pleasure of exploiting them (finding out that you had a singing voice, could write well, start a company, or invent new things), that was the deeper pleasure the founders had in mind and the freedom they sought.
Jack Hitt (Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character)
Speaking of African Americans, the horrors of the African slave trade are more connected to the enslavement unleashed by Columbus than most people realize.26 The Portuguese began enslaving and exporting the native peoples of Labrador beginning in 1501. Early in colonial history, the British paid some tribes to capture members of other tribes; the British then sold these captives as slaves. Charleston, South Carolina, was a center for exporting indigenous American slaves before it became a center for importing African ones. Having developed a taste and skill for enslavement of the Tainos, Arawaks, and others in the New World, European colonizers quickly turned to Africa for additional “stock” for their slave market. Even Bartolomé de las Casas at one point recommended importing African slaves so that the indigenous peoples could be released, a recommendation he later regretted and repudiated.
Brian D. McLaren (The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian)
pounds….” Thomas Jefferson had written a paragraph of the Declaration accusing the King of transporting slaves from Africa to the colonies and “suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.” This seemed to express moral indignation against slavery and the slave trade (Jefferson’s personal distaste for slavery must be put alongside the fact that he owned hundreds of slaves to the day he died). Behind it was the growing fear among Virginians and some other southerners about the growing number of black slaves in the colonies (20 percent of the total population) and the threat of slave revolts as the number of slaves increased. Jefferson’s paragraph was removed by the Continental Congress, because slaveholders themselves disagreed about the desirability of ending the slave trade. So even that gesture toward the black slave was omitted in the great manifesto of freedom of the American Revolution.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
that the ability of oppressed people throughout the world to exercise genuine self-determination would strengthen liberty in the United States. This idea of emancipatory internationalism was born of centuries of struggle against slavery, colonialism, and oppression in the Americas. When Martin Luther King connected the lives of Vietnamese villagers with the prospects of Black youths in South Central Los Angeles he was drawing on an extraordinary fountain of experiential wisdom.
Paul Ortiz (An African American and Latinx History of the United States (REVISIONING HISTORY Book 4))
On the American Oligarchy "How about the United States?" a man yelled from the audience. "And what about it?" Martin retorted. "The thirteen colonies threw off their rulers and formed the Republic so-called. The slaves were their own masters. There were no more masters of the sword. But you couldn't get along without masters of some sort, and there arose a new set of masters–not the great, virile noble men, but the shrewd and spidery traders and money-lenders. And they enslaved you all over again–but not frankly, as the true, noble men would do with weight of their own right arms, but secretly, by spidery machinations and by wheedling and cajoling and lies. They have purchased your slave judges, they have debauched your slave legislatures, and they have forced to worse horrors than chattel slavery your slave boys and girls. Two million of your children are toiling today in this trade-oligarchy of the United States. Ten millions of your slaves are not properly sheltered nor properly fed.
Jack London (Martin Eden)
[Enoch Root] hadn't really known what to expect of America. But people here seem to do things—hangings included—with a blunt, blank efficiency that's admirable and disappointing at the same time. Like jumping fish, they go about difficult matters with bloodless ease. As if they were all born knowing things that other people must absorb, along with faery-tales and superstitions, from their families and villages. Maybe it is because most of them came over on ships. (Boston Common, October 12, 1713, 10:33:52 a.m.)
Neal Stephenson (Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, #1))
The high principles of Masonry were particularly welcome in the uncertain times leading up to the Revolution. American society was struggling with conflicting political loyalties, denominational conflicts among competing sects, cultural and language issues resulting from increased non-English-speaking immigration, and the problems of balancing self-government with being an English Colonial province. Masonry offered itself as a cultivated and ordered society of far-thinking individuals who could help mediate differences.
James Wasserman (The Secrets of Masonic Washington: A Guidebook to Signs, Symbols, and Ceremonies at the Origin of America's Capital)
Colonization would make of Germany a continental empire fit to rival the United States, another hardy frontier state based upon exterminatory colonialism and slave labor. The East was the Nazi Manifest Destiny. In Hitler’s view, “in the East a similar process will repeat itself for a second time as in the conquest of America.” As Hitler imagined the future, Germany would deal with the Slavs much as the North Americans had dealt with the Indians. The Volga River in Russia, he once proclaimed, will be Germany’s Mississippi.9
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
involved experiments with African Americans. These subjects were given experimental vaccines known to have unacceptably high lethality, were enrolled in experiments without their consent or knowledge, were subjected to surreptitious surgical and medical procedures while unconscious, injected with toxic substances, deliberately monitored rather than treated for deadly ailments, excluded from lifesaving treatments, or secretly farmed for sera or tissues that were used to perfect technologies such as infectious-disease tests.
Harriet A. Washington (Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present)
When anxiety about the course of a new cultural movement or political controversy arose, the average American did not have far to go to find a handy historical parallel to express quickly and completely the nature of his fears. If the concern threatened his sense of himself as part of a new nation that was moving forward, the metaphor of Salem witchcraft functioned well as a universally familiar shorthand for the social and political costs of sliding backward into a colonial world of irrationality, tyranny, and superstition.
Gretchen A. Adams (The Specter of Salem: Remembering the Witch Trials in Nineteenth-Century America)
Once all the gold and silver had been thoroughly stolen, the empires found even greater sources of wealth by laying a belt of plantation colonies from Brazil north to Virginia. Many were small in size, but all were huge in economic and political significance. In 1763, in the first Treaty of Paris, France traded all of Canada for the island of Guadeloupe.4 What was made on such islands, and what made much of Europe’s new wealth before 1807, was sugar. The Portuguese brought sugarcane to Brazil at the beginning of the sixteenth
Edward E. Baptist (The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism)
And yet the crisis that came upon the English colonies in the American Revolution was constitutional. It raised the question of how men should be governed, or as the Americans came to say, whether they as free men could govern themselves. There had been conflict between individual colonies and the home government before; in fact there had been rebellions within several colonies against constituted authority; and there may have been a long-standing though submerged resentment within the colonies against external control. All the earlier
Robert Middlekauff (The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789)
So, to take just one example: during the great Ebola panic of 2014, only one person died in the United States, but a poll in November of that year found Americans identifying it as a more urgent priority than any other disease, “including cancer or heart disease, which together account for nearly half of all U.S. deaths each year.” In fact, in a typical year more Americans are literally killed by their own furniture than are killed by terrorists, but when you ask them, they will tell you they are far more scared of terrorism than of nearly any other threat.
Chris Hayes (A Colony in a Nation)
Despite its image as a disease that affects middle-aged white men, heart disease claims 50 percent more African Americans than whites and African Americans die from heart attacks at a higher rate than whites. African Americans are more likely to develop serious liver ailments such as hepatitis C, the chief cause of liver transplants. They are also more likely to die from liver disease, not because of any inherent racial susceptibility, but because blacks are less likely to receive aggressive treatment with drugs such as interferon or lifesaving liver transplants. Even
Harriet A. Washington (Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present)
The Pilgrims had come to America not to conquer a continent but to re-create their modest communities in Scrooby and in Leiden. When they arrived at Plymouth in December 1620 and found it emptied of people, it seemed as if God had given them exactly what they were looking for. But as they quickly discovered during that first terrifying fall and winter, New England was far from uninhabited. There were still plenty of Native people, and to ignore or anger them was to risk annihilation. The Pilgrims’ religious beliefs played a dominant role in the decades ahead, but it was their deepening relationship with the Indians that turned them into Americans. By forcing the English to improvise, the Indians prevented Plymouth Colony from ossifying into a monolithic cult of religious extremism. For their part, the Indians were profoundly influenced by the English and quickly created a new and dynamic culture full of Native and Western influences. For a nation that has come to recognize that one of its greatest strengths is its diversity, the first fifty years of Plymouth Colony stand as a model of what America might have been from the very beginning.
Nathaniel Philbrick (Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War)
The “Muslim speech,” as we took to calling the second major address, was trickier. Beyond the negative portrayals of terrorists and oil sheikhs found on news broadcasts or in the movies, most Americans knew little about Islam. Meanwhile, surveys showed that Muslims around the world believed the United States was hostile toward their religion, and that our Middle East policy was based not on an interest in improving people’s lives but rather on maintaining oil supplies, killing terrorists, and protecting Israel. Given this divide, I told Ben that the focus of our speech had to be less about outlining new policies and more geared toward helping the two sides understand each other. That meant recognizing the extraordinary contributions of Islamic civilizations in the advancement of mathematics, science, and art and acknowledging the role colonialism had played in some of the Middle East’s ongoing struggles. It meant admitting past U.S. indifference toward corruption and repression in the region, and our complicity in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected government during the Cold War, as well as acknowledging the searing humiliations endured by Palestinians living in occupied territory. Hearing such basic history from the mouth of a U.S. president would catch many people off guard, I figured, and perhaps open their minds to other hard truths: that the Islamic fundamentalism that had come to dominate so much of the Muslim world was incompatible with the openness and tolerance that fueled modern progress; that too often Muslim leaders ginned up grievances against the West in order to distract from their own failures; that a Palestinian state would be delivered only through negotiation and compromise rather than incitements to violence and anti-Semitism; and that no society could truly succeed while systematically repressing its women. —
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Whiteness is not a kinship or a culture. White people are no more closely related to one another, genetically, that we are to black people. American definitions of race allow for a white woman to give birth to black children, which should serve as a reminder that white people are not a family. What binds us is that we share a system of social advantages that can be traced back to the advent of slavery in the colonies that became the United States. 'There is, in fact, no white community,' as Baldwin writes. Whiteness is not who you are. Which is why it is entirely possible to despise whiteness without disliking yourself.
Eula Biss (Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation)
The United States had been created through an act of disloyalty. No matter how eloquently the Declaration of Independence had attempted to justify the American rebellion, a residual guilt hovered over the circumstances of the country's founding. Arnold changed all that. By threatening to destroy the newly created republic through, ironically, his own betrayal, Arnold gave this nation of traitors the greatest of gifts; a myth of creation. The American people had come to revere George Washington, but a hero alone was not sufficient to bring them together. Now they had the despised villain Benedict Arnold. They knew both what they were fighting for - and against. The story of American's genesis could finally move beyond the break with the mother country and start to focus on the process by which thirteen former colonies could become a nation. As Arnold had demonstrated, the real enemy was not Great Britain, but those Americans who sought to undercut their fellow citizens commitment to one another. Whether it was Joseph Reed's willingness to promote his state's interests at the expenses of what was best for the country as a whole or Arnold's decision to sell his loyalty to the highest bidder, the greatest danger to America's future cam from self-serving opportunism masquerading as patriotism. At this fragile state in the country's development, a way had to be found to strengthen rather than destroy the existing framework of government. The Continental Congress was far from perfect, but it offered a start to what could one day be a great nation. By turning traitor, Arnold had alerted the American people to how close they had all come to betraying the Revolution by putting their own interests ahead of their newborn country's. Already the name Benedict Arnold was becoming a byword for that most hateful of crimes: treason against the people of the United States.
Nathaniel Philbrick (Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution)
In the 1740s the Iroquois wearied of dealing with several often bickering English colonies and suggested that the colonies form a union similar to the league. In 1754 Benjamin Franklin, who had spent much time among the Iroquois observing their deliberations, pleaded with colonial leaders to consider his Albany Plan of Union: “It would be a strange thing if six nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for such a union and be able to execute it in such a manner as that it has subsisted ages and appears insoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies.”53
James W. Loewen (Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong)
Two centuries ago, the United States settled into a permanent political order, after fourteen years of violence and heated debate. Two centuries ago, France fell into ruinous disorder that ran its course for twenty-four years. In both countries there resounded much ardent talk of rights--rights natural, rights prescriptive. . . . [F]anatic ideology had begun to rage within France, so that not one of the liberties guaranteed by the Declaration of the Rights of Man could be enjoyed by France's citizens. One thinks of the words of Dostoievski: "To begin with unlimited liberty is to end with unlimited despotism." . . . In striking contrast, the twenty-two senators and fifty-nine representatives who during the summer of 1789 debated the proposed seventeen amendments to the Constitution were men of much experience in representative government, experience acquired within the governments of their several states or, before 1776, in colonial assembles and in the practice of the law. Many had served in the army during the Revolution. They decidedly were political realists, aware of how difficult it is to govern men's passions and self-interest. . . . Among most of them, the term democracy was suspect. The War of Independence had sufficed them by way of revolution. . . . The purpose of law, they knew, is to keep the peace. To that end, compromises must be made among interests and among states. Both Federalists and Anti-Federalists ranked historical experience higher than novel theory. They suffered from no itch to alter American society radically; they went for sound security. The amendments constituting what is called the Bill of Rights were not innovations, but rather restatements of principles at law long observed in Britain and in the thirteen colonies. . . . The Americans who approved the first ten amendments to their Constitution were no ideologues. Neither Voltaire nor Rousseau had any substantial following among them. Their political ideas, with few exceptions, were those of English Whigs. The typical textbook in American history used to inform us that Americans of the colonial years and the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras were ardent disciples of John Locke. This notion was the work of Charles A. Beard and Vernon L. Parrington, chiefly. It fitted well enough their liberal convictions, but . . . it has the disadvantage of being erroneous. . . . They had no set of philosophes inflicted upon them. Their morals they took, most of them, from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Their Bill of Rights made no reference whatever to political abstractions; the Constitution itself is perfectly innocent of speculative or theoretical political arguments, so far as its text is concerned. John Dickinson, James Madison, James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, George Mason, and other thoughtful delegates to the Convention in 1787 knew something of political theory, but they did not put political abstractions into the text of the Constitution. . . . Probably most members of the First Congress, being Christian communicants of one persuasion or another, would have been dubious about the doctrine that every man should freely indulge himself in whatever is not specifically prohibited by positive law and that the state should restrain only those actions patently "hurtful to society." Nor did Congress then find it necessary or desirable to justify civil liberties by an appeal to a rather vague concept of natural law . . . . Two centuries later, the provisions of the Bill of Rights endure--if sometimes strangely interpreted. Americans have known liberty under law, ordered liberty, for more than two centuries, while states that have embraced the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, with its pompous abstractions, have paid the penalty in blood.
Russell Kirk (Rights And Duties: Reflections On Our Conservative Constitution)
Crazy Horse was a new kind of leader to emerge after the Civil War, at the beginning of the army’s wars of annihilation in the northern plains and the Southwest. Born in 1842 in the shadow of the sacred Paha Sapa (Black Hills), he was considered special, a quiet and brooding child. Already the effects of colonialism were present among his people, particularly alcoholism and missionary influence. Crazy Horse became a part of the Akicita, a traditional Sioux society that kept order in villages and during migrations. It also had authority to make certain that the hereditary chiefs were doing their duty and dealt harshly with those who did not.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
In 1988, the Senate passed a Resolution “To acknowledge the contribution of the Iroquois Confederacy of Nations to the development of the United States Constitution,” which included affirmations that “the original framers of the Constitution, including, most notably, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, are known to have greatly admired the concepts of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy” and “the confederation of the original Thirteen Colonies into one republic was influenced by the political system developed by the Iroquois Confederacy as were many of the democratic principles which were incorporated into the Constitution itself.
Peter Manseau (One Nation, Under Gods: A New American History)
It is always a fashion to advise disputants to sit round a table and solve disputes by dialogue and discussion, and not to resort to violent confrontation and wars. Whether in national disputes or in international conflicts parties are being constantly advised to avoid wars and to negotiate, while governments continue to oppress, persecute, and even commit genocide. No doubt, it is a very salutary advice and a noble ideal, quite often well-meaning, too. Nobody fights a war for the pleasure of it. But the trouble is, it has never been pragmatic ideal, and never will be so long as governments being what they are and the tyranny of the majority and armed might being the ruling principle of democracy…The weaker is left to its own devices to shake off tyranny and oppression. If the weaker side listened to this idealistic advice and waited till the end of time for a solution to its problems there would have been no wars of independence. If the American colonies of George III’s England listened to such advice and continued to be governed by England and to pay taxes to England without representation in the Parliament at Westminster, there would have been no American War of Independence, no American Declaration of Independence, and there would be no United States of America today…” (pp.279-280)
V. Navaratnam (The Fall and Rise of the Tamil Nation)
And even in the open air the stench of whiskey was appalling. To this fiendish poison, I am certain, the greater part of the squalor I saw is due. Many of these vermin were obviously not foreigners—I counted at least five American countenances in which a certain vanished decency half showed through the red whiskey bloating. Then I reflected upon the power of wine, and marveled how self-respecting persons can imbibe such stuff, or permit it to be served upon their tables. It is the deadliest enemy with which humanity is faced. Not all the European wars could produce a tenth of the havock occasioned among men by the wretched fluid which responsible governments allow to be sold openly. Looking upon that mob of sodden brutes, my mind’s eye pictured a scene of different kind; a table bedecked with spotless linen and glistening silver, surrounded by gentlemen immaculate in evening attire—and in the reddening faces of those gentlemen I could trace the same lines which appeared in full development of the beasts of the crowd. Truly, the effects of liquor are universal, and the shamelessness of man unbounded. How can reform be wrought in the crowd, when supposedly respectable boards groan beneath the goblets of rare old vintages? Is mankind asleep, that its enemy is thus entertained as a bosom friend? But a week or two ago, at a parade held in honour of the returning Rhode Island National Guard, the Chief Executive of this State, Mr. Robert Livingston Beeckman, prominent in New York, Newport, and Providence society, appeared in such an intoxicated condition that he could scarce guide his mount, or retain his seat in the saddle, and he the guardian of the liberties and interests of that Colony carved by the faith, hope, and labour of Roger Williams from the wilderness of savage New-England! I am perhaps an extremist on the subject of prohibition, but I can see no justification whatsoever for the tolerance of such a degrading demon as drink.
H.P. Lovecraft (Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters)
People of color in the internal colonies of the US cannot defend themselves against police brutality or expropriate the means of survival to free themselves from economic servitude. They must wait for enough people of color who have attained more economic privilege (the “house slaves” of Malcolm X’s analysis) and conscientious white people to gather together and hold hands and sing songs. Then, they believe, change will surely come. People in Latin America must suffer patiently, like true martyrs, while white activists in the US “bear witness” and write to Congress. People in Iraq must not fight back. Only if they remain civilians will their deaths be counted and mourned by white peace activists who will, one of these days, muster a protest large enough to stop the war. Indigenous people need to wait just a little longer (say, another 500 years) under the shadow of genocide, slowly dying off on marginal lands, until-well, they’re not a priority right now, so perhaps they need to organize a demonstration or two to win the attention and sympathy of the powerful. Or maybe they could go on strike, engage in Gandhian noncooperation? But wait-a majority of them are already unemployed, noncooperating, fully excluded from the functioning of the system. Nonviolence declares that the American Indians could have fought off Columbus, George Washington, and all the other genocidal butchers with sit-ins; that Crazy Horse, by using violent resistance, became part of the cycle of violence, and was “as bad as” Custer. Nonviolence declares that Africans could have stopped the slave trade with hunger strikes and petitions, and that those who mutinied were as bad as their captors; that mutiny, a form of violence, led to more violence, and, thus, resistance led to more enslavement. Nonviolence refuses to recognize that it can only work for privileged people, who have a status protected by violence, as the perpetrators and beneficiaries of a violent hierarchy.
Peter Gelderloos (How Nonviolence Protects the State)
During the Pequot War, Connecticut and Massachusetts colonial officials had offered bounties initially for the heads of murdered Indigenous people and later for only their scalps, which were more portable in large numbers. But scalp hunting became routine only in the mid-1670s, following an incident on the northern frontier of the Massachusetts colony. The practice began in earnest in 1697 when settler Hannah Dustin, having murdered ten of her Abenaki captors in a nighttime escape, presented their ten scalps to the Massachusetts General Assembly and was rewarded with bounties for two men, two women, and six children.24 Dustin soon became a folk hero among New England settlers. Scalp hunting became a lucrative commercial practice. The settler authorities had hit upon a way to encourage settlers to take off on their own or with a few others to gather scalps, at random, for the reward money. “In the process,” John Grenier points out, “they established the large-scale privatization of war within American frontier communities.”25 Although the colonial government in time raised the bounty for adult male scalps, lowered that for adult females, and eliminated that for Indigenous children under ten, the age and gender of victims were not easily distinguished by their scalps nor checked carefully. What is more, the scalp hunter could take the children captive and sell them into slavery. These practices erased any remaining distinction between Indigenous combatants and noncombatants and introduced a market for Indigenous slaves. Bounties for Indigenous scalps were honored even in absence of war. Scalps and Indigenous children became means of exchange, currency, and this development may even have created a black market. Scalp hunting was not only a profitable privatized enterprise but also a means to eradicate or subjugate the Indigenous population of the Anglo-American Atlantic seaboard.26 The settlers gave a name to the mutilated and bloody corpses they left in the wake of scalp-hunts: redskins.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
A black man, Benjamin Banneker, who taught himself mathematics and astronomy, predicted accurately a solar eclipse, and was appointed to plan the new city of Washington, wrote to Thomas Jefferson: I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, that we are a race of beings, who have long labored under the abuse and censure of the world; that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt; and that we have long been considered rather as brutish than human, and scarcely capable of mental endowments I apprehend you will embrace every opportunity to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas and opinions, which so generally prevails with respect to us; and that your sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are, that one universal Father hath given being to us all; and that he hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that he hath also, without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations and endowed us all with the same facilities. . . . Banneker asked Jefferson “to wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you have imbibed.” Jefferson tried his best, as an enlightened, thoughtful individual might. But the structure of American society, the power of the cotton plantation, the slave trade, the politics of unity between northern and southern elites, and the long culture of race prejudice in the colonies, as well as his own weaknesses—that combination of practical need and ideological fixation—kept Jefferson a slaveowner throughout his life.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Certainly there are differences; I grant you that. Iran is ethnically Persian, and Jordan is ethnically Arab. Iran is largely a Shia Moslem nation, while Jordan is predominately Sunni. Iran has oil; Jordan does not. Iran is large and populous, and Jordan is not. But those differences are immaterial. What is important is the pattern.” “What pattern?” “Iran is a monarchy,” Reuven explained. “So is Jordan. The Pahlavi regime is moderate. So are the Hashemites. Iran is pro-British. So is Jordan. Indeed, it was a British colony. What’s more, Iran is pro-American. So is Jordan. And though they are quiet about it, Iran under the shah is one of two countries in the region that are on relatively friendly terms with Israel and the Jews. The other is Jordan.” At
Joel C. Rosenberg (The Third Target (J.B. Collins, #1))
In Africa, Asia, Amerindia, Oceania, Europe came and established its order of Analysis and Death. What it could not use, it killed or altered. In time the death-colonies grew strong enough to break away. But the impulse to empire, the mission to propagate death, the structure of it, kept on. Now we are in the last phase. American Death has come to occupy Europe. It has learned empire from its old metropolis. But now we have only the structure left us, none of the great rainbow plumes, no fittings of gold, no epic marches over alkali seas. The savages of other continents, corrupted but still resisting in the name of life, have gone on despite everything... while Death and Europe are separate as ever, their love still unconsummated. Death only rules here.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
A majority of colonial Americans were either Protestants or unaffiliated with any church. However, many of the leaders of the American Revolution and signers of its Constitution such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were Deists, along with James Madison, John Adams, and possibly Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, and Alexander Hamilton. Most Deists believed in a supreme being who had created the universe along with the natural laws that governed it, but who then took a relatively hands-off approach to human affairs. The supreme being of the Deists could be apprehended by practical investigation and the use of reason to understand natural laws. Religious faith was not needed, nor were miracles, divine inspiration, or personal revelations of God’s spirit.
Andrew Himes (The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family)
At a swearing-in ceremony for new immigrants in the summer of 2014, the Harvard-educated First Lady Michelle Obama said: “It’s amazing that just a few feet from here where I’m standing are the signatures of the fifty-six Founders who put their names on a Declaration that changed the course of history. And like the fifty of you, none of them were born American—they became American.” That’s if you don’t count the forty-eight of fifty-six who were born in America. The other eight—like the rest of them—were either British or Dutch. Fifty-five were Protestant. Only one was Catholic. There’s a reason King George called the American Revolution “a Presbyterian war.”2 The single document in Nexis’s news archives to report the First Lady’s jaw-droppingly ignorant remark about the signers of America’s Declaration of Independence did so in order to proclaim her “correct.” Yes, said Mrs. Obama was “correct” in the sense that “the Founding Fathers were not born into a fully formed and established America with its own history, customs, culture, and values, as modern American children are.”3 That’s if you don’t count the 85 percent of the Declaration’s signers who were born into a fully formed and established America, with its own history, customs, culture, and values. The American colonies had been around for about 150 years at that point. Not only the signers of the Declaration, but the first seventeen presidents, were all born in one of the original thirteen colonies. The eighteenth was Ulysses Grant, who was born in Ohio.
Ann Coulter (¡Adios, America!: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole)
Well, I don't know the whole situation in detail, but my guess is that it's in Quebec's self-interest to stay part of Canada―because the alternative is to become part of the United States. Quebec's not going to be able to remain independent, so it can either become part of the United States or stay part of Canada. And given that choice, I think it's better off staying part of Canada. I mean, if Quebec became independent from Canada, it wouldn't necessarily be called part of the United States―like it wouldn't get colored the same as the United States on the map―but it would be so integrated into the American economy that it would effectively be a colony. And I don't think that's in the interest of the people of Quebec, I think they're better off staying part of Canada.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
The sense of superiority and the snobbery that underlay all the theory were far more important than any of the formal statements of mercantile or political thought. For this sense permeated, or seemed to, all ranks of Englishmen conscious of American existence. And it may be that the colonials in America, in the peculiar way of colonials, accepted both the truth of the explicit propositions and the unconscious assumption that they somehow were unequal to the English across the sea. Certain it is that the most sophisticated among them yearned to be cosmopolites, followed London’s fashions, and aped the English style. If this imitation did nothing else, it confirmed the prevailing feeling in Britain that the lines of colonial subordination were right and should remain unchanged.
Robert Middlekauff (The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789)
The fact of history is that black people have not -- probably no people have ever -- liberated themselves strictly through their own efforts. In every great change in the lives of African Americans we see the hand of events that were beyond our individual control, events that were not unalloyed goods. You cannot disconnect our emancipation in the Northern colonies from the blood spilled in the Revolutionary War, any more than you can disconnect our emancipation from slavery in the South from the charnel houses of the Civil War, any more than you can disconnect our emancipation from Jim Crow from the genocides of the Second World War. History is not solely in our hands. And still you are called to struggle, not because it assures you victory but because it assures you an honorable and sane life.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
The new Pennsylvania Fireplaces, as he called them, were initially somewhat popular, at £5 apiece, and papers around the colonies were filled with testimonials. “They ought to be called, both in justice and gratitude, Mr. Franklin’s stoves,” declared one letter writer in the Boston Evening Post. “I believe all who have experienced the comfort and benefit of them will join with me that the author of this happy invention merits a statue.” The governor of Pennsylvania was among the enthusiastic, and he offered Franklin what could have been a lucrative patent. “But I declined it,” Franklin noted in his autobiography. “As we enjoy great advantages from the invention of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.” It was a noble and sincere sentiment.
Walter Isaacson (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life)
A despatch from California describes a theosophist colony as donning white robes en masse for some “glorious fulfilment” which never arrives, whilst items from India speak guardedly of serious native unrest toward the end of March. Voodoo orgies multiply in Hayti, and African outposts report ominous mutterings. American officers in the Philippines find certain tribes bothersome about this time, and New York policemen are mobbed by hysterical Levantines on the night of March 22–23. The west of Ireland, too, is full of wild rumour and legendry, and a fantastic painter named Ardois-Bonnot hangs a blasphemous “Dream Landscape” in the Paris spring salon of 1926. And so numerous are the recorded troubles in insane asylums, that only a miracle can have stopped the medical fraternity from noting strange parallelisms and drawing mystified conclusions.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft)
Across history, racist power has produced racist ideas about the racialized ethnic groups in its colonial sphere and ranked them—across the globe and within their own nations. The history of the United States offers a parade of intra-racial ethnic power relationships: Anglo-Saxons discriminating against Irish Catholics and Jews; Cuban immigrants being privileged over Mexican immigrants; the model-minority construction that includes East Asians and excludes Muslims from South Asia. It’s a history that began with early European colonizers referring to the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole as the “Five Civilized Tribes” of Native Americans, as compared to other “wild” tribes. This ranking of racialized ethnic groups within the ranking of the races creates a racial-ethnic hierarchy, a ladder of ethnic racism within the larger schema of racism.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
Finally there would be total unity within the Federation, the first step toward people’s being at home on any planet instead of only one. The principle from the old United States, basically; it didn’t matter if you were raised in Vermont and lived in California. You were still home, still American. If your name was Baird or Yamamura or Kwame, you weren’t necessarily loyal to Scotland, Japan, or Ghana, but to America. A few decades of space travel, and the statement became “I’m a citizen of Earth,” and no matter the country. This ship was that kind of first step. Whether born on Earth or Epsillon Indii VI, you were a citizen of the Federation. The children on this colony Enterprise would visit the planets of the Federation and feel part of each, welcome upon all. This starship was the greatest, most visionary melting pot of all, this spacegoing colony. Unique. Hopeful. Risky.
Diane Carey (Ghost Ship (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #1))
It was in the library that he and May had always discussed the future of the children: the studies of Dallas and his young brother Bill, Mary's incurable indifference to "accomplishments," and passion for sport and philanthropy, and the vague leanings toward "art" which had finally landed the restless and curious Dallas in the office of a rising New York architect. The young men nowadays were emancipating themselves from the law and business and taking up all sorts of new things. If they were not absorbed in state politics or municipal reform, the chances were that they were going in for Central American archaeology, for architecture or landscape-engineering; taking a keen and learned interest in the prerevolutionary buildings of their own country, studying and adapting Georgian types, and protesting at the meaningless use of the word "Colonial." Nobody nowadays had "Colonial" houses except the millionaire grocers of the suburbs.
Edith Wharton
When I hear such arguments, I find my sympathies moving toward Obama; we should at least credit him with being smarter than this. I think his critics sometimes forget how much of his domestic and foreign agenda he has realized in a single term. The anti-colonial theory gives Obama the benefit of presuming him to be at least modestly intelligent. Of course Obama understands the consequences of his actions—that’s why he is doing them. He’s doing what he does because he has objectives quite different than fostering economic growth; he intends to use the rod of government control to tame exploitative capitalists and severely regulate the private sector; he wants to strengthen Iran and Syria’s roles in the Middle East while diminishing that of the United States; and he cares more about reducing America’s nuclear arsenal than about preventing Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. I admit it is scary that a president might actually be seeking these objectives. But if my contentions are right, then we should be scared.
Dinesh D'Souza (Obama's America: Unmaking the American Dream)
If disease could have done the job, it is not clear why the European colonizers in America found it necessary to carry out unrelenting wars against Indigenous communities in order to gain every inch of land they took from them—nearly three hundred years of colonial warfare, followed by continued wars waged by the independent republics of the hemisphere. Whatever disagreement may exist about the size of precolonial Indigenous populations, no one doubts that a rapid demographic decline occurred in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, its timing from region to region depending on when conquest and colonization began. Nearly all the population areas of the Americas were reduced by 90 percent following the onset of colonizing projects, decreasing the targeted Indigenous populations of the Americas from one hundred million to ten million. Commonly referred to as the most extreme demographic disaster—framed as natural—in human history, it was rarely called genocide until the rise of Indigenous movements in the mid-twentieth century forged questions.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
In America, too, the reality behind the words of the Declaration of Independence (issued in the same year as Adam Smith’s capitalist manifesto, The Wealth of Nations) was that a rising class of important people needed to enlist on their side enough Americans to defeat England, without disturbing too much the relations of wealth and power that had developed over 150 years of colonial history. Indeed, 69 percent of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had held colonial office under England. When the Declaration of Independence was read, with all its flaming radical language, from the town hall balcony in Boston, it was read by Thomas Crafts, a member of the Loyal Nine group, conservatives who had opposed militant action against the British. Four days after the reading, the Boston Committee of Correspondence ordered the townsmen to show up on the Common for a military draft. The rich, it turned out, could avoid the draft by paying for substitutes; the poor had to serve. This led to rioting, and shouting: “Tyranny is Tyranny let it come from whom it may.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
The street sprinkler went past and, as its rasping rotary broom spread water over the tarmac, half the pavement looked as if it had been painted with a dark stain. A big yellow dog had mounted a tiny white bitch who stood quite still. In the fashion of colonials the old gentleman wore a light jacket, almost white, and a straw hat. Everything held its position in space as if prepared for an apotheosis. In the sky the towers of Notre-Dame gathered about themselves a nimbus of heat, and the sparrows – minor actors almost invisible from the street – made themselves at home high up among the gargoyles. A string of barges drawn by a tug with a white and red pennant had crossed the breadth of Paris and the tug lowered its funnel, either in salute or to pass under the Pont Saint-Louis. Sunlight poured down rich and luxuriant, fluid and gilded as oil, picking out highlights on the Seine, on the pavement dampened by the sprinkler, on a dormer window, and on a tile roof on the Île Saint-Louis. A mute, overbrimming life flowed from each inanimate thing, shadows were violet as in impressionist canvases, taxis redder on the white bridge, buses greener. A faint breeze set the leaves of a chestnut tree trembling, and all down the length of the quai there rose a palpitation which drew voluptuously nearer and nearer to become a refreshing breath fluttering the engravings pinned to the booksellers’ stalls. People had come from far away, from the four corners of the earth, to live that one moment. Sightseeing cars were lined up on the parvis of Notre-Dame, and an agitated little man was talking through a megaphone. Nearer to the old gentleman, to the bookseller dressed in black, an American student contemplated the universe through the view-finder of his Leica. Paris was immense and calm, almost silent, with her sheaves of light, her expanses of shadow in just the right places, her sounds which penetrated the silence at just the right moment. The old gentleman with the light-coloured jacket had opened a portfolio filled with coloured prints and, the better to look at them, propped up the portfolio on the stone parapet. The American student wore a red checked shirt and was coatless. The bookseller on her folding chair moved her lips without looking at her customer, to whom she was speaking in a tireless stream. That was all doubtless part of the symphony. She was knitting. Red wool slipped through her fingers. The white bitch’s spine sagged beneath the weight of the big male, whose tongue was hanging out. And then when everything was in its place, when the perfection of that particular morning reached an almost frightening point, the old gentleman died without saying a word, without a cry, without a contortion while he was looking at his coloured prints, listening to the voice of the bookseller as it ran on and on, to the cheeping of the sparrows, the occasional horns of taxis. He must have died standing up, one elbow on the stone ledge, a total lack of astonishment in his blue eyes. He swayed and fell to the pavement, dragging along with him the portfolio with all its prints scattered about him. The male dog wasn’t at all frightened, never stopped. The woman let her ball of wool fall from her lap and stood up suddenly, crying out: ‘Monsieur Bouvet!
Georges Simenon
Thomas Paine, one of the principal architects of American democracy, wrote a formal denunciation of civilization in a tract called Agrarian Justice: “Whether . . . civilization has most promoted or most injured the general happiness of man is a question that may be strongly contested,” he wrote in 1795. “[Both] the most affluent and the most miserable of the human race are to be found in the countries that are called civilized.” When Paine wrote his tract, Shawnee and Delaware warriors were still attacking settlements just a few hundred miles from downtown Philadelphia. They held scores of white captives, many of whom had been adopted into the tribe and had no desire to return to colonial society. There is no way to know the effect on Paine’s thought process of living next door to a communal Stone-Age society, but it might have been crucial. Paine acknowledged that these tribes lacked the advantages of the arts and science and manufacturing, and yet they lived in a society where personal poverty was unknown and the natural rights of man were actively promoted. In that sense, Paine claimed, the American Indian should serve as a model for how to eradicate poverty and bring natural rights back into civilized life.
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
At this stage in the discussion one has to mention the specter of communism. What is the threat of communism to this system? For a clear and cogent answer, one can turn to an extensive study of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and National Planning Association called the Political Economy of American Foreign Policy, a very important book. It was compiled by a representative segment of the tiny elite that largely sets public policy for whoever is technically in office. In effect, it’s as close as you can come to a manifesto of the American ruling class. Here they define the primary threat of communism as “the economic transformation of the communist powers in ways which reduce their willingness or ability to complement the industrial economies of the West.” That is the primary threat of communism. Communism, in short, reduces the willingness and ability of underdeveloped countries to function in the world capitalist economy in the manner of, for example, the Philippines which has developed a colonial economy of a classic type, after 75 years of American tutelage and domination. It is this doctrine which explains why British economist Joan Robinson describes the American crusade against communism as a crusade against development.
Noam Chomsky (Government in the Future)
I’ll tell you why I’m dubious. These will be young people in this garden commune, I assume. That means they’ll be stoned half the time–one of the things you can grow in gardens is Cannabis. That won’t go down well with the neighbors. Neither will free-form marriage or the natural-credit Communist economy. They’ll be visited by the cops every week. They’ll be lucky if the American Legion doesn’t burn them out, or sic the dog catcher on their wild life children.” “None of that has anything to do with them. It only has to do with people outside.” “Sure,” I said, “but those people aren’t going to go away. If they won’t leave the colony alone I’ll give it six months. If it isn’t molested it might last a year or two. By that time half the people will have drifted away in search of bigger kicks, and the rest will be quarreling about some communal woman, or who got the worst corner of the garden patch, or who ate up all the sweet corn. Satisfying natural desires is fine, but natural desires have a way of being both competitive and consequential. And women may be equal to men, but they aren’t equal in attractiveness any more than men are. Affections have a way of fixing on individuals, which breeds jealousy, which breeds possessiveness, which breeds bad feeling. Q.E.D.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
On April 30, 1921, President Warren G. Harding appointed Reily, a former assistant postmaster in Kansas City, governor of Puerto Rico as a political payoff. Reily took his oath of office in Kansas City, then attended to “personal business” for another two and a half months before finally showing up for work on July 30.24 By that time, he had already announced to the island press that (1) he was “the boss now,” (2) the island must become a US state, (3) any Puerto Rican who opposed statehood was a professional agitator, (4) there were thousands of abandoned children in Puerto Rico, and (5) the governorship of Puerto Rico was “the best appointment that President Harding could award” because its salary and “perquisites” would total $54,000 a year.25 Just a few hours after disembarking, the assistant postmaster marched into San Juan’s Municipal Theater and uncorked one of the most reviled inaugural speeches in Puerto Rican history. He announced that there was “no room on this island for any flag other than the Stars and Stripes. So long as Old Glory waves over the United States, it will continue to wave over Puerto Rico.” He then pledged to fire anyone who lacked “Americanism.” He promised to make “English, the language of Washington, Lincoln and Harding, the primary one in Puerto Rican schools
Nelson A. Denis (War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony)
Pierre Eliot Trudeau's gift of an official policy of multiculturalism appeared in our midst in a period of rapid influx of third world immigrants into Canada, as well as in a moment of growing intensity of the old English-French rivalry....In this context the proclamation of multiculturalism could be seen as a diffusing or muting device for francophone national aspirations, as much as a way of coping with the non-European immigrants' arrival. It also sidelined the claims of Canada's aboriginal population, which had displayed a propensity toward armed struggles for land claims, as exemplified by the American Indian Movement (AIM). The reduction of these groups' demands into cultural demands was obviously helpful to the nationhood of Canada with its hegemonic anglo-Canadian national culture....It is not an accident that Bissoondath, who confuses between antiracism and multiculturalism, should fall for a political discourse of assimilation which keeps the so-called immigrants in place through a constantly deferred promise....As the focus shifts from processes of exclusion and marginalization to ethnic identities and their lack of adaptiveness, it is forgotten that these officially multicultural ethnicities, so embraced or rejected, are themselves the constructs of colonial - orientalist and racist - discourses.
Himani Bannerji
Another pattern was set at Uhud that played out across the centuries: Muslims would see any aggression as a pretext for revenge, regardless of whether they provoked it. With a canny understanding of how to sway public opinion, jihadists and their PC allies on the American Left today use current events as pretexts to justify what they are doing: Time and again they portray themselves as merely reacting to grievous provocations from the enemies of Islam. By this they gain recruits and sway popular opinion. Conventional wisdom among a surprisingly broad political spectrum today holds that the global jihad movement is a response to some provocation or other: the invasion of Iraq, the establishment of Israel, the toppling of Iran’s Mossadegh—or a more generalized offense such as “American neo-colonialism” or “the lust for oil.” Those who are particularly forgetful of history blame it on newly minted epiphenomena such as the Abu Ghraib prison scandals, which cast a shadow over America’s presence in Iraq in 2004. But the jihadists were fighting long before Abu Ghraib, Iraq, Israel, or American independence. Indeed, they have been fighting and imitating their warrior Prophet ever since the seventh century, casting their actions as responses to the enormities of their enemies ever since Muhammad discovered his uncle’s mutilated body.
Robert Spencer (The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades))
Whilst the earlier forms of oppression confronted by Gandhi and King were in decline, when King turned his attention to economic injustice, it was another matter. He had come to realize that the fundamental, underlying injustice in American life was the exclusion of the poor of all races and cultures from the opportunity to attain even the bare minimum of the necessities of life. Martin King, then, entered a new and different arena. He was involved no longer in fighting regional, social injustice but rather in attempting to confront the core issue of economic injustice in American society, which went hand in hand with waging a costly war and the growth of militarism. This new struggle brought him into direct conflict with the federal government and its numerous agency surrogates whose mission it was to serve and protect American corporate interests at home and abroad. The new post-war corporate colonialism was very far from being a spent force in 1968. If his opposition to the war was unacceptable to the corporate beneficiaries, the Poor People's Campaign was intolerable. Not only could it turn into a revolution which could only be stopped, if at all, by the massacre of Americans but, in the very least, millions of Americans would unavoidably be required to see for themselves the previously unseen massive number of their impoverished fellow citizens.
William F. Pepper (An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King)
Now because Britain, France, and recently the United States are imperial powers, their political societies impart to their civil societies a sense of urgency, a direct political infusion as it were, where and whenever matters pertaining to their imperial interests abroad are concerned. I doubt that it is controversial, for example, to say that an Englishman in India or Egypt in the later nineteenth century took an interest in those countries that was never far from their status in his mind as British colonies. To say this may seem quite different from saying that all academic knowledge about India and Egypt is somehow tinged and impressed with, violated by, the gross political fact—and that is what I am saying in this study of Orientalism. For if it is true that no production of knowledge in the human sciences can ever ignore or disclaim its author’s involvement as a human subject in his own circumstances, then it must also be true that for a European or American studying the Orient there can be no disclaiming the main circumstances of his actuality: that he comes up against the Orient as a European or American first, as an individual second. And to be a European or an American in such a situation is by no means an inert fact. It meant and means being aware, however dimly, that one belongs to a power with definite interests in the Orient, and more important, that one belongs to a part of the earth with a definite history of involvement in the Orient almost since the time of Homer.
Edward W. Said (Orientalism)
The whitewash of Kingdom of Heaven Kingdom of Heaven is a classic cowboys-and-Indians story in which the Muslims are noble and heroic and the Christians are venal and violent. The script is heavy on modern-day PC clichés and fantasies of Islamic tolerance; brushing aside dhimmi laws and attitudes (of which Ridley Scott has most likely never heard), it invents a peace-and-tolerance group called the “Brotherhood of Muslims, Jews and Christians.” But of course, the Christians spoiled everything. A publicist for the film explained, “They were working together. It was a strong bond until the Knights Templar caused friction between them.” Ah yes, those nasty “Christian extremists.” Kingdom of Heaven was made for those who believe that all the trouble between the Islamic world and the West has been caused by Western imperialism, racism, and colonialism, and that the glorious paradigm of Islamic tolerance, which was once a beacon to the world, could be reestablished if only the wicked white men of America and Europe would be more tolerant. Ridley Scott and his team arranged advance screenings for groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, making sure that sensitive Muslim feelings were not hurt. It is a dream movie for the PC establishment in every way except one: It isn’t true. Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, author of A Short History of the Crusades and one of the world’s leading historians of the period, called the movie “rubbish,” explaining that “it’s not historically accurate at all” as it “depicts the Muslims as sophisticated and civilised, and the Crusaders are all brutes and barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality.” Oh, and “there was never a confraternity of Muslims, Jews and Christians. That is utter nonsense.
Robert Spencer (The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades))
Many real-world Northwestern endonyms have European origins, such as “Portland,” “Victoria,” “Bellingham,” and “Richland.” To address this phenomenon while also contributing a sense of the fantastic, I chose to utilize a forgotten nineteenth century European artificial language as a source. Volapük is clumsy and awkward, but shares a relationship with English vocabulary (upon which it is based) that I was able to exploit. In my fictional universe, that relationship is swapped, and English (or rather, “Vendelabodish”) words derive from Volapük (“Valütapük”). This turns Volapük into an ancient Latin-like speech, offering texture to a fictional history of the colonizers of my fictional planets. Does one have to understand ancient Rome and medieval Europe and America’s Thirteen Colonies to understand the modern Pacific Northwest? Nah. But exploring the character and motivations of a migrating, imperial culture certainly sets the stage for explaining a modernist backlash against the atrocities that inevitably come with colonization.             The vocabulary of Volapük has also given flavor that is appropriate, I feel, to the quasi-North American setting. While high fantasy worlds seem to be built with pillars of European fairy tales, the universe of Geoduck Street is intentionally built with logs of North American tall tales. Tolkien could wax poetic about the aesthetic beauty of his Elvish words all he wanted, since aesthetic beauty fits the mold of fairies and shimmering palaces, but Geoduck Street needed a “whopper-spinning” approach to artificial language that would make a flapjack-eating Paul Bunyan proud. A prominent case in point: in this fictional universe, the word “yagalöp” forms the etymological root of “jackalope.” “Yag,” in the original nineteenth century iteration of Volapük, means “hunting,” while “löp” means “summit.” Combining them together makes them “the summit of hunting.” How could a jackalope not be a point of pride among hunting trophies?
Sylvester Olson (A Detective from Geoduck Street (The Matter of Cascadia Book 1))
If we consider this official or elite multiculturalism as an ideological state apparatus we can see it as a device for constructing and ascribing political subjectivities and agencies for those who are seen as legitimate and full citizens and others who are peripheral to this in many senses. There is in this process an element of racialized ethnicization, which whitens North Americans of European origins and blackens or darkens their 'others' by the same stroke. This is integral to Canadian class and cultural formation and distribution of political entitlement. The old and established colonial/racist discourses of tradition and modernity, civilization and savagery, are the conceptual devices of the construction and ascription of these racialized ethnicities. It is through these 'conceptual practices of power' (Smith, 1990) that South Asians living in Canada, for example, can be reified as hindu or muslim, in short as religious identities.....We need to repeat that there is nothing natural or primordial about cultural identities - religious or otherwise - and their projection as political agencies. In this multiculturalism serves as a collection of cultural categories for ruling or administering, claiming their representational status as direct emanations of social ontologies. This allows multiculturalism to serve as an ideology, both in the sense of a body of content, claiming that 'we' or 'they' are this or that kind of cultural identities, as well as an epistemological device for occluding the organization of the interpellating device which segments the nation's cultural and political space as well as its labour market into ethnic communities....Defined thus, third world or non-white peoples living in Canada become organized into competitive entities with respect to each other. They are perceived to have no commonality, except that they are seen as, or self-appellate as, being essentially religious, traditional or pre-modern, and thus civilizationally backward. This type of conceptualization of political and social subjectivity or agency allows for no cross-border affiliation or formation, as for example does the concept of class.
Himani Bannerji
It was my father who called the city the Mansion on the River. He was talking about Charleston, South Carolina, and he was a native son, peacock proud of a town so pretty it makes your eyes ache with pleasure just to walk down its spellbinding, narrow streets. Charleston was my father’s ministry, his hobbyhorse, his quiet obsession, and the great love of his life. His bloodstream lit up my own with a passion for the city that I’ve never lost nor ever will. I’m Charleston-born, and bred. The city’s two rivers, the Ashley and the Cooper, have flooded and shaped all the days of my life on this storied peninsula. I carry the delicate porcelain beauty of Charleston like the hinged shell of some soft-tissued mollusk. My soul is peninsula-shaped and sun-hardened and river-swollen. The high tides of the city flood my consciousness each day, subject to the whims and harmonies of full moons rising out of the Atlantic. I grow calm when I see the ranks of palmetto trees pulling guard duty on the banks of Colonial Lake or hear the bells of St. Michael’s calling cadence in the cicada-filled trees along Meeting Street. Deep in my bones, I knew early that I was one of those incorrigible creatures known as Charlestonians. It comes to me as a surprising form of knowledge that my time in the city is more vocation than gift; it is my destiny, not my choice. I consider it a high privilege to be a native of one of the loveliest American cities, not a high-kicking, glossy, or lipsticked city, not a city with bells on its fingers or brightly painted toenails, but a ruffled, low-slung city, understated and tolerant of nothing mismade or ostentatious. Though Charleston feels a seersuckered, tuxedoed view of itself, it approves of restraint far more than vainglory. As a boy, in my own backyard I could catch a basket of blue crabs, a string of flounder, a dozen redfish, or a net full of white shrimp. All this I could do in a city enchanting enough to charm cobras out of baskets, one so corniced and filigreed and elaborate that it leaves strangers awed and natives self-satisfied. In its shadows you can find metalwork as delicate as lace and spiral staircases as elaborate as yachts. In the secrecy of its gardens you can discover jasmine and camellias and hundreds of other plants that look embroidered and stolen from the Garden of Eden for the sheer love of richness and the joy of stealing from the gods. In its kitchens, the stoves are lit up in happiness as the lamb is marinating in red wine sauce, vinaigrette is prepared for the salad, crabmeat is anointed with sherry, custards are baked in the oven, and buttermilk biscuits cool on the counter.
Pat Conroy (South of Broad)
American Indians share a magnificent history — rich in its astounding diversity, its integrity, its spirituality, its ongoing unique culture and dynamic tradition. It's also rich, I'm saddened to say, in tragedy, deceit, and genocide. Our sovereignty, our nationhood, our very identity — along with our sacred lands — have been stolen from us in one of the great thefts of human history. And I am referring not just to the thefts of previous centuries but to the great thefts that are still being perpetrated upon us today, at this very moment. Our human rights as indigenous peoples are being violated every day of our lives — and by the very same people who loudly and sanctimoniously proclaim to other nations the moral necessity of such rights. Over the centuries our sacred lands have been repeatedly and routinely stolen from us by the governments and peoples of the United States and Canada. They callously pushed us onto remote reservations on what they thought was worthless wasteland, trying to sweep us under the rug of history. But today, that so-called wasteland has surprisingly become enormously valuable as the relentless technology of white society continues its determined assault on Mother Earth. White society would now like to terminate us as peoples and push us off our reservations so they can steal our remaining mineral and oil resources. It's nothing new for them to steal from nonwhite peoples. When the oppressors succeed with their illegal thefts and depredations, it's called colonialism. When their efforts to colonize indigenous peoples are met with resistance or anything but abject surrender, it's called war. When the colonized peoples attempt to resist their oppression and defend themselves, we're called criminals. I write this book to bring about a greater understanding of what being an Indian means, of who we are as human beings. We're not quaint curiosities or stereotypical figures in a movie, but ordinary — and, yes, at times, extraordinary — human beings. Just like you. We feel. We bleed. We are born. We die. We aren't stuffed dummies in front of a souvenir shop; we aren't sports mascots for teams like the Redskins or the Indians or the Braves or a thousand others who steal and distort and ridicule our likeness. Imagine if they called their teams the Washington Whiteskins or the Washington Blackskins! Then you'd see a protest! With all else that's been taken from us, we ask that you leave us our name, our self-respect, our sense of belonging to the great human family of which we are all part. Our voice, our collective voice, our eagle's cry, is just beginning to be heard. We call out to all of humanity. Hear us!
Leonard Peltier (Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)
Many kinds of animal behavior can be explained by genetic similarity theory. Animals have a preference for close kin, and study after study has shown that they have a remarkable ability to tell kin from strangers. Frogs lay eggs in bunches, but they can be separated and left to hatch individually. When tadpoles are then put into a tank, brothers and sisters somehow recognize each other and cluster together rather than mix with tadpoles from different mothers. Female Belding’s ground squirrels may mate with more than one male before they give birth, so a litter can be a mix of full siblings and half siblings. Like tadpoles, they can tell each other apart. Full siblings cooperate more with each other than with half-siblings, fight less, and are less likely to run each other out of the territory when they grow up. Even bees know who their relatives are. In one experiment, bees were bred for 14 different degrees of relatedness—sisters, cousins, second cousins, etc.—to bees in a particular hive. When the bees were then released near the hive, guard bees had to decide which ones to let in. They distinguished between degrees of kinship with almost perfect accuracy, letting in the closest relatives and chasing away more distant kin. The correlation between relatedness and likelihood of being admitted was a remarkable 0.93. Ants are famous for cooperation and willingness to sacrifice for the colony. This is due to a quirk in ant reproduction that means worker ants are 70 percent genetically identical to each other. But even among ants, there can be greater or less genetic diversity, and the most closely related groups of ants appear to cooperate best. Linepithema humile is a tiny ant that originated in Argentina but migrated to the United States. Many ants died during the trip, and the species lost much of its genetic diversity. This made the northern branch of Linepithema humile more cooperative than the one left in Argentina, where different colonies quarrel and compete with each other. This new level of cooperation has helped the invaders link nests into supercolonies and overwhelm local species of ants. American entomologists want to protect American ants by introducing genetic diversity so as to make the newcomers more quarrelsome. Even plants cooperate with close kin and compete with strangers. Normally, when two plants are put in the same pot, they grow bigger root systems, trying to crowd each other out and get the most nutrients. A wild flower called the Sea Rocket, which grows on beaches, does not do that if the two plants come from the same “mother” plant. They recognize each others’ root secretions and avoid wasteful competition.
Jared Taylor
It should be clear by now that whatever Americans say about diversity, it is not a strength. If it were a strength, Americans would practice it spontaneously. It would not require “diversity management” or anti-discrimination laws. Nor would it require constant reminders of how wonderful it is. It takes no exhortations for us to appreciate things that are truly desirable: indoor plumbing, vacations, modern medicine, friendship, or cheaper gasoline. [W]hen they are free to do so, most people avoid diversity. The scientific evidence suggests why: Human beings appear to have deeply-rooted tribal instincts. They seem to prefer to live in homogeneous communities rather than endure the tension and conflict that arise from differences. If the goal of building a diverse society conflicts with some aspect of our nature, it will be very difficult to achieve. As Horace wrote in the Epistles, “Though you drive Nature out with a pitchfork, she will ever find her way back.” Some intellectuals and bohemians profess to enjoy diversity, but they appear to be a minority. Why do we insist that diversity is a strength when it is not? In the 1950s and 1960s, when segregation was being dismantled, many people believed full integration would be achieved within a generation. At that time, there were few Hispanics or Asians but with a population of blacks and whites, the United States could be described as “diverse.” It seemed vastly more forward-looking to think of this as an advantage to be cultivated rather than a weakness to be endured. Our country also seemed to be embarking on a morally superior course. Human history is the history of warfare—between nations, tribes, and religions —and many Americans believed that reconciliation between blacks and whites would lead to a new era of inclusiveness for all peoples of the world. After the immigration reforms of 1965 opened the United States to large numbers of non- Europeans, our country became more diverse than anyone in the 1950s would have imagined. Diversity often led to conflict, but it would have been a repudiation of the civil rights movement to conclude that diversity was a weakness. Americans are proud of their country and do not like to think it may have made a serious mistake. As examples of ethnic and racial tension continued to accumulate, and as the civil rights vision of effortless integration faded, there were strong ideological and even patriotic reasons to downplay or deny what was happening, or at least to hope that exhortations to “celebrate diversity” would turn what was proving to be a problem into an advantage. To criticize diversity raises the intolerable possibility that the United States has been acting on mistaken assumptions for half a century. To talk glowingly about diversity therefore became a form of cheerleading for America. It even became common to say that diversity was our greatest strength—something that would have astonished any American from the colonial era through the 1950s. There is so much emotional capital invested in the civil-rights-era goals of racial equality and harmony that virtually any critique of its assumptions is intolerable. To point out the obvious— that diversity brings conflict—is to question sacred assumptions about the ultimate insignificance of race. Nations are at their most sensitive and irrational where they are weakest. It is precisely because it is so easy to point out the weaknesses of diversity that any attempt to do so must be countered, not by specifying diversity’s strengths—which no one can do—but with accusations of racism.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
… The most important contribution you can make now is taking pride in your treasured home state. Because nobody else is. Study and cherish her history, even if you have to do it on your own time. I did. Don’t know what they’re teaching today, but when I was a kid, American history was the exact same every year: Christopher Columbus, Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims, Thomas Paine, John Hancock, Sons of Liberty, tea party. I’m thinking, ‘Okay, we have to start somewhere— we’ll get to Florida soon enough.’…Boston Massacre, Crispus Attucks, Paul Revere, the North Church, ‘Redcoats are coming,’ one if by land, two if by sea, three makes a crowd, and I’m sitting in a tiny desk, rolling my eyes at the ceiling. Hello! Did we order the wrong books? Were these supposed to go to Massachusetts?…Then things showed hope, moving south now: Washington crosses the Delaware, down through original colonies, Carolinas, Georgia. Finally! Here we go! Florida’s next! Wait. What’s this? No more pages in the book. School’s out? Then I had to wait all summer, and the first day back the next grade: Christopher Columbus, Plymouth Rock…Know who the first modern Floridians were? Seminoles! Only unconquered group in the country! These are your peeps, the rugged stock you come from. Not genetically descended, but bound by geographical experience like a subtropical Ellis Island. Because who’s really from Florida? Not the flamingos, or even the Seminoles for that matter. They arrived when the government began rounding up tribes, but the Seminoles said, ‘Naw, we prefer waterfront,’ and the white man chased them but got freaked out in the Everglades and let ’em have slot machines…I see you glancing over at the cupcakes and ice cream, so I’ll limit my remaining remarks to distilled wisdom: “Respect your parents. And respect them even more after you find out they were wrong about a bunch of stuff. Their love and hard work got you to the point where you could realize this. “Don’t make fun of people who are different. Unless they have more money and influence. Then you must. “If someone isn’t kind to animals, ignore anything they have to say. “Your best teachers are sacrificing their comfort to ensure yours; show gratitude. Your worst are jealous of your future; rub it in. “Don’t talk to strangers, don’t play with matches, don’t eat the yellow snow, don’t pull your uncle’s finger. “Skip down the street when you’re happy. It’s one of those carefree little things we lose as we get older. If you skip as an adult, people talk, but I don’t mind. “Don’t follow the leader. “Don’t try to be different—that will make you different. “Don’t try to be popular. If you’re already popular, you’ve peaked too soon. “Always walk away from a fight. Then ambush. “Read everything. Doubt everything. Appreciate everything. “When you’re feeling down, make a silly noise. “Go fly a kite—seriously. “Always say ‘thank you,’ don’t forget to floss, put the lime in the coconut. “Each new year of school, look for the kid nobody’s talking to— and talk to him. “Look forward to the wonderment of growing up, raising a family and driving by the gas station where the popular kids now work. “Cherish freedom of religion: Protect it from religion. “Remember that a smile is your umbrella. It’s also your sixteen-in-one reversible ratchet set. “ ‘I am rubber, you are glue’ carries no weight in a knife fight. “Hang on to your dreams with everything you’ve got. Because the best life is when your dreams come true. The second-best is when they don’t but you never stop chasing them. So never let the authority jade your youthful enthusiasm. Stay excited about dinosaurs, keep looking up at the stars, become an archaeologist, classical pianist, police officer or veterinarian. And, above all else, question everything I’ve just said. Now get out there, class of 2020, and take back our state!
Tim Dorsey (Gator A-Go-Go (Serge Storms Mystery, #12))